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Thursday, March 17, 2016

After Cyclist Death, Brother Pushes For Truck Side Guards

Dustin Weigl stands next to a Catering on the Charles truck that features side guards aimed at preventing cyclists or pedestrians from being pulled under the truck. Weigl is pushing to get the guards on all trucks. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Dustin Weigl stands next to a Catering on the Charles truck that features side guards aimed at preventing cyclists or pedestrians from being pulled under the truck. Weigl is pushing to get the guards on all trucks. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Here at our offices on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, many of us remember a sad day in December 2012. That’s when 23-year-old Christopher Weigl was killed by a tractor-trailer while he rode his bicycle.

Weigl, a grad student, was in his designated bike lane and had a green light when, according to the family, a tractor-trailer made a right turn, what is known as a “right hook,” and collided with Weigl, who was crushed under truck’s tires.

Dustin Weigl stands next to a photo of his brother Christopher Weigl that he taped on a utility box on the corner where Christopher was killed while riding his bike in 2012. (Robin Young/ Here & Now)

Dustin Weigl stands next to a photo of his brother Christopher Weigl that he taped on a utility box on the corner where Christopher was killed while riding his bike in 2012. (Robin Young/ Here & Now)

No criminal charges have been filed in the case and the family is suing the driver and the trucking company. But outside of court, Christopher’s brother Dustin Weigl is trying to make sure that what happened to his brother won’t happen to anyone else.

He is pushing for trucks of a certain size to have what are called side guards, that aim to prevent pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists from being swept under the truck’s tires.

“It’s a big metal sheet that’s covering the gap between the front and rear wheel,” Dustin told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “The side guard can help turn what would be very likely a fatal accident into just an accident that someone could potentially just walk up from and walk away on their own.”

Dustin says the side guards also improve the aerodynamics of the trucks, making them more fuel efficient.

“I think it would be great to have something that could impact other people’s lives like this, that prevent other horrible accidents from happening,” he said. “It seems like a no-brainer for me.”

A man walking down Commonwealth Avenue looks at the ghost bike left in Christopher Weigl’s memory, on Monday December 11, 2012. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A man walking down Commonwealth Avenue looks at the ghost bike left in Christopher Weigl’s memory, on Monday December 11, 2012. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A sheet covers the body of bicyclist Christopher Weigl on Commonwealth Ave. and St. Paul St. on Dec. 6, 2012. This was the view from the WBUR newsroom. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

A sheet covers the body of bicyclist Christopher Weigl on Commonwealth Ave. and St. Paul St. on Dec. 6, 2012. This was the view from the WBUR newsroom. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

A sign on the utility box near where Christopher Weigl was killed talks about his life. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

A sign on the utility box near where Christopher Weigl was killed talks about his life. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Guest

  • Dustin Weigl, Boston area resident pushing for new truck safety standards.

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