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University of Pittsburgh employee killed in bicycle accident

Even when a bicyclist is not in motion, he or she is vulnerable to serious injury and death, as a tragic story from the University of Pittsburgh shows.

A university employee was killed while riding her bicycle near campus in late October. She was 34 and was caught up in a chain-reaction car crash, police believe.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she was in a left-turn lane, waiting between two cars for the light to change. The driver of a third vehicle was in one of the street’s through lanes, and tried to change lanes into the left-turn lane.

But there was not enough room and the car rear-ended the car behind the victim, forcing the vehicle into her bike. The bike slammed into the car in front of it and fell over, fatally injuring the rider.

The victim was an assistant director at Pitt’s Center for Russian and East European Studies center. Her boss said that she commuted to work on her bicycle every day, and that her death is “going to leave a huge hole in our center,” because the staff there is so close.

On the section of street where this terrible crash occurred, there is no dedicated bike lane, despite being so close to campus.

It is not clear why the driver seems to have misjudged the amount of space available in the left turn lane. The driver later suffered a medical emergency, according to the Post-Gazette. Whether there is a connection may be a matter for the police.

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