The husband of a cyclist who was struck and killed by a dump truck at a busy intersection near Rice University is suing the truck’s owner/operator alleging the company is responsible for his wife’s wrongful death.
Sudipta Roy, a nurse and avid cyclist was struck and killed near the intersection of Main Street and Sunset Boulevard – at the same intersection where another cyclist was killed a year earlier after colliding with a MetroRail train. Roy had just joined her husband for lunch at Rice University before being killed in the accident.
Her husband, Ujjal Bhattacharjee, filed the lawsuit against E. Cruz Lazo Trucking alleging the truck driver was negligent and did not obey laws. He also hopes to persuade the City of Houston to make design changes to make the intersection less dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians.
Bhattacharjee claims that after his wife left the university, she approached the intersection of Main and Sunset at the same time as the dump truck. Both had a green light. The truck turned right on Main as Roy pulled out onto the crosswalk. That’s when Roy was struck by the back tire of the dump truck.
The accident happened near the memorial of Rice Professor Dr. Marjorie Corcoran, who was hit by a MetroRail train while riding her bike near the intersection. Her death prompted the city to start wrapping its trains in brighter colors and using louder horns, and it hired an outside safety consultant to evaluate the intersection. Among the recommendations were roadway design changes to include bike safety changes, but those changes were never implemented by the City of Houston.
Advocacy group Bike Houston has been pushing for safety improvements at the intersection for a while. “The design of the intersection is dangerous,” said John Long, executive director of Bike Houston. “There needs to be engineering changes.”