Monday, March 17, 2008

The killer truck
The backwheels where the poor man met his fate
A policeman measures the distance between where he was struck and where it stopped. Note the trail of blood and flesh.
Front view of the truck
Flesh and blood was under that sheet. I almost threw up when the cop lifted it!
Where the truck stopped. The truck is registered in Maine.

This morning a Harvard University Graduate student was run over by a big rig truck on its way to Shaw's Supermarket at MIT. The incident happened at the intersection of Masscahusetts Ave. and Western Ave. The student died at 12:20pm today and has been identified as 28 year old Isaac Meyers.
I was on my way to work this morning when I came upon this horrific scene. I took the above photos. I talked to some people who witnessed what happened. They said that Meyers was in the crosswalk when the back wheels of the truck struck him and dragged him to the next crosswalk where it came to a halt only after people flagged the driver down!
The police were measuring the scene and I saw blood, human meat and bone spread on the street. People said that Meyers was still alive when he was put in the ambulance but it did not look good.
Seriously, that crosswalk where Meyers was hit is DANGEROUS! Yes, people are allowed to cross and cars are allowed to turn right at the same time. So many times I have seen impatient drivers nearly run over people. They even honk at people in the crosswalk to hurry up. They even have no pity on the elderly or those pushing baby strollers! Sometimes the cars speed in front of you or behind you. I cross there almost everyday, its a horrible crosswalk.
This is the second horrific accident in Central Square I remember over the past years. In the last one, a woman was riding her bike when the driver of a parked car opened its door. She ran into the bike door and got thrown into the path of an oncoming MBTA bus and was crushed to death. She was riding in the bike lane.
So, today I ask will it take the death of this young man, to allow people to cross the street in Central Square safely?
Rest in Peace Issac Meyers.


Anonymous said...

Terrible! Absoluetly terrible! What a tragedy. you wake up in the morning and don't know what your fate is.

May his soul rest in peace.

Aviva said...

Amen. Rest in peace Isaac.

Robert Winters said...

Correction regarding the 2002 death in Central Square of cyclist Dana Laird:

The bike lanes were installed several years before this tragedy and the victim was riding in the bike lane when she was "doored" and thrown under the wheels of the bus. I took photos of the aftermath that day. Some are posted at

In particular, look at the photo:

Some have argued that the bike lanes and the false sense of security they provide were a factor in the 2002 tragedy.

Robert Winters
Cambridge Civic Journal

Chemi Che-Mponda said...

Mr. Winters, Thanks for the correction. I got there when they were lifting the bus. The bus driver was crying like a baby! If I remember right, the bus driver was charged. The guy who opened the door looked speechless. He bought some flowers put them at the scene and waited for his lawyer. It was a tragedy.

On the security of the bike lanes, I agree, they do give a false sense of security. I have seen several near accidents in those bike lanes.

Robert Winters said...

I don't believe the bus driver in the 2002 death was charged, nor should he have been. The cyclist was apparently thrown while alongside the bus and ended up under the rear wheels. There was a civil suit brought against the car driver who opened his door into the path of the cyclist. I don't know how that ended up, but my photos were subpoenaed in that case.

I was there when the person from the flower shop brought out the flowers and placed them at the base of the tree near where the tragedy occurred. I don't know if it was the driver or the florist who brought out the flowers, but I've always assumed it was the florist.

Chemi Che-Mponda said...

I thought the guy who brought the flowers out was the driver. He was the one who talked to the lawyer. Maybe, I 've had it wrong all these years.

Lyss said...

SO you're saying that what's under the sheet is what's LEFT of the poor man?
Also, am curious about how you snapped those pics w/o cops noticing.

Chemi Che-Mponda said...

Lyss, What was under the sheet was a piece of crushed body part I don't know what it was. The cops didn't say anything, other people were taking pictures and using camera phones and video cameras.

Overall, this is a tragedy. It has been my worst fear of that corner. I cross there daily. If you are ever in Central Square watch what happens. Cars drive around people in the crosswalk, honk at people in the crosswalk. Some have no regard for the elderly and disabled struggling to cross. The City of Cambridge is going to have to stop the traffic and allow people to cross safely, its the only solution. Allowing both the greenlight at the same time isn't working.

Ajda the Turkish Queen said...

I cross there daily as well, and I think it is ridiculous that there is a green light and a pedestrian walk light at the same time. I showed up about 4 hours after it happened, but I immediately felt death heavy in the air without knowing what occurred...I am still so disturbed. I saw the streak and didn't want to believe it was from the victim, though I suspected it was. My heart goes out to everyone involved.

Anonymous said...

I was on my way to work at 8:30am. What I saw in the Square traumatized me so bad I had to go back home and call in sick. It was awful. The man was crushed to death. The fact that he was alive when he was put in the ambulance was a miracle. I agree the City of Cambridge must change the traffic rules for that intersection. Allowing pedestrians to cross and people to turn at the same time isn't working.

Kathy Podgers said...

This is sad and horrible.

@Robert, I think it is wrong and selfish for you to bring up a totally seperate and unrelated in cident just to show off you photos. My understanding in that incident is that she wasn't "doored" at all, but instead of stopping swerved and collided with the bus.

Hey folks, I have taken man photos of this intersection, which has high volume of both road traffic, bikes, and pedestrians. Mass Ave is a highway, its Route 2A.

We have all tried, in various ways to get the "City" to recognize the dangers at this and other intersections, and adopt sensible signal controls. The head of traffic and parking refuses, stating "Our priority is to keep traffic moving."

In addition we have a many folks who are blind, and need sound signals. The City refuses to put in the full compliment of sound signals, dividing them in half, to use at another intersection, to "save money," The result is a blind person can hear the signal going in one direction but not coming back. End result we have two intersections with half the needed sound signals.

Recently one coty councillor stated In City Council that traffic safety concerns were "percieved danger." Gee, I wonder if not the danger has become real if we can learn from it.

take care, and be glad YOU were not the truck driver.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this with all the details. Isaac was a friend of mine for the past 4 years, and I spoke with him the evening before this happened. I actually screamed when I saw the email.

I'm not sure it's so healthy that I'm looking into the details, but I do appreciate that they're there, but also that they don't show him; I did choose not to look at the video on the ABC news site. We have wondered whether he was conscious and how long he lived. From the live journal, it sounds like he was conscious for part, but some say that he was alive when he was put into the ambulance and others said not. Maybe we shouldn't be asking these questions.

I saw a woman putting flowers on the curb on Tuesday evening, but an hour later, they were gone. For awhile, there was a sign with the Metro story tacked onto the street pole at the corner saying "We Love and Miss you, Isaac." but I heard it was no longer there this evening.

Anonymous said...

As a friend of Isaac's, I am heart-broken by this tragefy. On top of that, I am offended that such voyeuristic photos have been posted here for all to see. I have chose not to look at them. For one, I want to remember Isaac as the man he was. Two, I think that showing these pictures is disrespectful to both the dead and to those in mourning.

Janelle said...

To the Anonymous poster of 8:01am. There is nothing wrong with these photos. Isaac was already at the hospital when they were taken. He is not shown. If you think photos of the truck that killed your friend are a problem then you have issues. I actually find that they give a sense of what happened and make people understand that it would have been difficult to survive.

Anonymous said...

That particular corner is a bad corner for pedestrians. The City says they want to keep traffic flowing so they aren't changing the rules. Meanwhile pedestrians should be warned, CROSS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Anonymous said...

To 8:01AM, you have some mental issues. Get a life! Geez!

Anonymous said...

Janelle and 1:16. Yes, I do have "issues," in that I am dealing with the loss of a friend. Some people call it "mourning."

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous poster of 11:01AM, you should apologize.

Below is the meaning of voyeur:
[noun] a viewer who enjoys seeing the sex acts or sex organs of others

There are no sex acts here, plus the accident happened on a public street. Why don't you condemn the TV stations that actually showed Isaac being freed from the tires by firemen? Not a nice sight.

You may be in mourning as many others are but don't look for scapegoats!

Isaac Meyers REST IN PEACE.

Like you I choose to remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

So I leave my house at 6:45 to walk to work. As i come up to central square there is a guy walking about 10 feet in front of me. we get up to the corner of Prospect and Mass ave. and a Shaw's semi was making a right turn onto Mass ave. The guy waits for the truck to almost get passed and he stepped out into the crosswalk. All the sudden in the blink of an eye he gets caught and sucked in between the two rear tires. The driver didn't realize what had happened and kept on driving down the street dragging and grinding him into pulp. Me and the guy who passes out Boston Now papers bolt after the truck screaming and yelling for him to stop. He stopped for a second then seeing what looked like your average central square crackhead (the newspaper guy) running after him he started driving off again. We finally get him to stop in front of Supreme Liquors which is about 200 feet from the corner where the guy got pulled in. I saw a cop in the Dunkin' Donuts and ran in to get him then ran back out to see if I could help the guy under the truck. I get to him and he was wrapped up in the tires and axle so bad that he didn't have much of a lower body left. The road leading up to him looked like someone took 50lbs of burger and scraped it down the street. Needless to say there was nothing I could do. He was trying to push the tire off of him then looked up at me pleadingly for help while coughing up blood. I waited as long as I could desperately trying to think of something I could do to help but eventually had to turn my back on him when the ambulance pulled up, the site was too much to take. He ended up dieing at one of the local hospitals shortly after they got a crane to get the semi off of him.

I have never seen anything like that in my life. It was so brutally fucked up and wrong. I'll never get those eyes out of my head!

His name was Isaac Meyers and he was a 28 year old harvard grad student.

Rob said...

That is a terrible intersection there, I am a delivery person in Cambridge there on Mondays, In a 13 ton 6 wheel truck, no accidents no tickets, you have to always look for people, bikers,cars and other trucks as well. People have no regards for trucks it is slim to none. I did have to go by there at 7:09 am this morning, took the right from prospect onto mass ave. and saw the 18 wheeler in the moiddle of the road, I was like what the hell is this, then I saw the victim at the back set of wheels, with the wheels at his waist line, half and half, on the right side, curb side, stuck underneateh the wheels, screaming bloody murder. Looked to me that the truck made the right hand turn, and somehow the victim got caught in with the wheels. Drove by slow looking out my passanger window and saw drag marks from the victim, it was not blood, but human waste matter.In my seven years of driving I’ve never seen anything more horrific than this. Everybody needs to take it a little slower, in a coty or in the sticks.

Rev. Douglas Whitlow said...

May God Bless the soul of the departed victim of the horrible accident which took place killing Isaac Meyers in Central Sqaure. . May God ease the family's pain in this time of mourning. But overall let us pray that the city of Cambridge takes steps to make the crosswalk safer. AMEN.

Why has the Cambridge Police Departments failed to charge the driver with vehicular homicide in this matter? He evidently stopped and then kept going, isn't that hit and run?

Anonymous said...

To the poster at 9:08 AM: Thanks for doing what you could to get help for Isaac, and for posting your account. I feel ill and shaken to have read it, but I'm glad to understand what happened.

Trucks' rear wheels do swerve towards pedestrians as the truck turns, sometimes even onto the sidewalk, and pedestrians are often surprised by that. This accident could have happened to any pedestrian, and we're lucky that it doesn't happen more often.

Everyone mourns in their own way. For me, it's important to understand what happened. The fact that a dear friend and wonderful person died such an undignified death and became a public spectacle, is obscene. The photos and accounts are only documentation of the facts. If they had included him, that would be another story. The local news story (which I did not watch) was exploitative of a tragedy and disrespectful.

Anonymous said...

To 9:08, the person who tried to help: thank you. I saw Isaac's family that evening and my heart is broken for them.

Amy E said...

hello everyone.
i never knew meyers, but i was on my way to work that morning. i arrived in central sq no more than 5 minutes after the accident.
i say accident because, i believe, it was the result of higher concerns. the accident itself was the result of foolish decisions.

i have been deeply effected by this young man's horrible end. i REALLY want to front or at least put together a day where we come together with signs, voices of frustration...whatever...that we address this intersection that has so many problems and attract attention to modify the traffic arrangment to, sometime soon, make sense and make it safe for cars, pedestrians, and bikers to travel through safely.

email me at "" and let's get something started before something else happens.

oh, and this isn't the first death that has occured in that part of central sq. i just assumed that you all knew that in writing this.

please contact me and let's end this.


Anonymous said...

this accident is in no way the drivers fault. he followed the letter of the law.

Anonymous said...

This tragedy is absolutely the driver's fault. Isaac Meyers had the green walk light, and pedestrians have the right of way.

This is in no way arguable.