Boston bike messenger, Rick Archer passed away on May 2, 2017 after being struck by a car driven by a hit and run driver on April 30.
Rick Archer died at 29 years old. He was a lover of Earth and an open minded friend to the people he encountered. I never saw him mad or disrespectful. He loved music and fire spinning. He worked on and off for Fly Over the City. He was a positive and steady messenger with many friends in the industry. - Gregory Letarte
'He Lived On His Bike': Friends Recall Cyclist Killed In Boston's Back Bay
WBUR News, May 2, 2017
Friends of a Boston man who was hit and suffered fatal injuries while riding his bike in the Back Bay remembered him Tuesday as a generous soul who loved traveling and loved riding bikes.
Rick Archer, 29, of South Boston, was struck in a hit-and-run crash early Sunday and died from his injuries Tuesday morning.
"Did you ever see a dog with three legs? It doesn't even know what the problem is, and to an extent it kind of felt like that with Rick," said Lee Yanco, one of Archer's best friends growing up, and a groomsman at his wedding. Yanco said Archer faced some difficulties in life, but he didn't let it get to him. "Like anybody else in his position would be crushed or depressed or something like that, but for him, he was just always happy about the situation."
Archer worked as a bike messenger in the city, in addition to working other odd jobs. He was also active in the city's circus community as a fire spinner.
Yanco said Archer's love for riding was on display the last time they saw each other at a restaurant in Boston.
"Probably when we were leaving the restaurant, Rick hopped on his bike in like 10-degree weather and biked home, and I was like, 'I think you're kind of crazy, man, but all right,' " Yanco recalled. "He lived on his bike. That was his mode of transportation."
Cycling advocates in the city see Archer's death as a reminder of the need to improve bike infrastructure on Boston streets.
Standing at the crash scene at the intersection of Clarendon Street and Commonwealth Avenue, Becca Wolfson, executive director of the Boston Cyclists Union, said Archer's death could have been avoided with better bike infrastructure.
"We are definitely frustrated at the pace of change on our street," she said. "And a fatality like this could have been prevented. Ask any resident of the Back Bay if speeding is a problem, and they'll overwhelmingly say absolutely."
Boston's Transportation Department said the city is committed to ending fatal and serious crashes in Boston by 2030, in line with its Vision Zero plan. And the death of Archer will prompt city officials to do an engineering analysis of the intersection.
"With any fatalities something we want to do is take a look at the design of the road and understand if there are ways in which we can improve it," said Chris Osgood, the city's chief of streets, transportation and sanitation.
Osgood said Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay was the site of a redesign in 2010. In order to calm traffic, he said, the roads were narrowed and a bike lane was added.
"We will obviously take a look at the circumstances of this tragedy and see if there's anything in the short term which we may be able to do," he said. "It reinforces the urgency of making our streets safer across the city, and it's why every major capital project that we are taking on right now across the city has an emphasis on improving particularly [for] folks who are walking, folks who are biking."
Police are searching for the driver of a silver Toyota, who they believe hit Archer and fled the scene. Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said he's confident the driver will be arrested.
"I believe we have the vehicle involved in what is now a vehicular homicide case," Evans told reporters Tuesday. "We're still appealing to the public that if they were out that morning and they seen something, please come forward."
Some of Archer's friends noted that he died doing what he loved: bicycling.
Friends, family recall cyclist killed in hit-and-run as adventurous
By Steve Annear, Boston Globe, MAY 02, 2017
Rick Archer had an adventurous spirit and desired to travel. And if he was intrigued by a new or interesting activity — like the art of fire spinning, for example — he could pick it up in no time, as if he had been practicing it his entire life.
“He had this kind of a knack for doing things,” said Leanne Greenman, Archer’s ex-wife and close friend. “He would try things that would make you go, ‘I don’t know about that.’ And then he would just learn them very fast. He was just always curious.”
Rick Archers Memorial Services Fund
We lost a very talented cyclist and amazing human being, Rick Archer who was killed in a hit and run accident on his bicycle.
Rick was an adventurous spirit who loved travel, helping people, food, extreme sports, laughter, general goofdom and was totally a big kid. He was my best friend, I had the honor of being married to him once, and spending the last 7 years of my life knowing and loving him.
We are holding a memorial gathering and a ghost bike memorial for him in his honor. Rick was an activist and always believed in doing the right thing. He would always want to see justice and right any wrongs he felt passionate about. We will certainly be working on doing just that for him.
With your assistance, all funds will go to his service, his memorial and any remaining funds going towards cycling awareness causes and humanitarian efforts.
As Rick Archer's former partner, Leanne Greenman, from Boston, MA, I will be dispersing all funds to his family for funeral arrangements, travel expenses, cycling awareness efforts in the Boston Cyclist Union and donating to 1 humanitarian disaster relief organization.
Thank you and we appreciate your help. If you cannot donate, please share this and spread the love.
‘Everybody’s shocked by what happened,’ uncle of man charged in fatal hit-and-run crash says
By Andy Rosen and Jacob Geanous GLOBE STAFF AND GLOBE CORRESPONDENT MAY 10, 2017
Malone Kidanemariam was in a panic after he hit a bicyclist in the Back Bay, so he kept driving, eventually pulling his damaged rental car into the Boston Common Garage, according to court documents.
As Rick Archer, 29, lay at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Clarendon Street early on the morning of April 30 with injuries that would prove fatal, Kidanemariam’s car showed clear signs of a collision. One passenger told police he couldn’t “even see through the windshield.”
The details were made public Wednesday as Kidanemariam, 25, of Dorchester, appeared in Boston Municipal Court. He was ordered held on $25,000 bail on a charge of leaving the scene of a deadly crash. Kidanemariam, who turned himself in on Tuesday evening, pleaded not guilty.
The arraignment came as bicycle safety advocates and friends of Archer were set to hold a memorial “ghost bike” ceremony and ride in his memory at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The procession went from the crash site to City Hall.
The gathering drew about 200 people, many of whom lit white candles placed around a bicycle, painted white, that leaned against a utility pole. About 100 bicycles were locked to the iron fence along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
“Rick Archer was just trying to ride his bike, which is a reasonable expectation for Bostonians,” said the Rev. Laura Everett, 38, head of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and a cyclist, before addressing the crowd. “We’re here to remember his life, grieve his death, and call for more public sponsored funding.”
A few of Archer’s friends offered personal remembrances. They also spoke of the need to for people to “tell the truth,” though Kidanemariam was never mentioned.
After the service, mourners hopped on their bikes to head to City Hall, where they attended a budget hearing. About 200 cyclists and activists filled the City Council chamber and an overflow room where they watched a video of the hearing.
“We want to tell the council, to tell the mayor, that we need more funding for Vision Zero,” said Becca Wolfson, 33, of Somerville, director of the Boston Cyclists Union.“We need everyone behind the wheel to know they are operating a weapon.”
Vision Zero is a national safety project that aims to eliminate, or reduce, serious injuries in road traffic.
In court, defense attorney Patrick M. Troy called the crash “an absolute tragedy.” Kidanemariam, who Troy said is a graduate of Wellesley public schools and Bay State College, has no criminal record. Troy asked for a lower bail of $5,000.
But Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Benjamin Megrian said the seriousness of the allegations, combined with the fact that Kidanemariam did not come forward until more than a week after the crash, justified a higher amount. Judge James Stanton agreed to Megrian’s request.
Dozens of family and friends from the Ethiopian-American community came to the Boston courthouse in support of Kidanemariam Wednesday.
Afeworki Kidanemariam, an uncle, said the family was thinking of Archer, but they also want people to know that Malone has the backing of his family.
His uncle described Kidanemariam, who was born in Massachusetts, as a “very loved, very supported, very smart, very nice kid.”
“Everybody’s shocked by what happened,” Afeworki Kidanemariam said.
Hailekiros Gebreegziabher, a family friend, said Kidanemariam was active in Ethiopian community activities. “This is a guy who we have known since his birth day,” he said.
After the arraignment, many left the courthouse and held a prayer ceremony outside.
Afeworki Kidanemariam and an Orthodox priest both offered messages in support of the suspect’s family along with Archer’s, according to people who participated.
Supporters who were willing to comment said they did not know anything about the circumstances of the crash, which happened around 3:19 a.m. April 30.
Archer had been riding with another bicyclist, authorities said. Friends have said the well-liked bike courier was returning to his apartment in South Boston after attending a midnight showing of “Point Break,” at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre.
After the crash, prosecutors said, Kidanemariam “failed to slow or stop” as he drove down Commonwealth Avenue. He turned the wrong way onto Berkeley Street, and eventually made his way into the garage.
It was there that a security guard found the gray Toyota Camry two days later with damage including a cracked windshield. The car was rented from Enterprise under Kidanemariam’s name, police said, and they allegedly found surveillance footage of him driving.
In a statement, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said prosecutors have not ruled out seeking additional charges against Kidanemariam, who returns to court June 1.
If Kidanemariam posts bail, he will be barred from driving.
According to records from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, his license was suspended after the crash. He has two previous incidents on his driving record, both from 2016: a Boston accident in which he was found mostly at fault and a citation accusing him of a lane violation in Roxbury.