A woman died in a hospital after a crash involving two vehicles and her bicycle on Forbes Ave. near the intersection of Bellefield in Oakland. Pittsburgh police detective and police officer examine the bicycle at the scene.
A scene of the Oakland crash that claimed a bicyclist.
Pittsburgh detective and police officer examine the scene.
University of Pittsburgh
Susan Hicks, 34.
By Madasyn Czebiniak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An assistant director at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and East European Studies died Friday evening after her bicycle was struck by a car on Forbes Avenue near the university campus.
Pittsburgh police said the accident occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m. at South Bellefield and Forbes avenues.
The bicyclist, Susan Hicks, 34, was assistant director for academic affairs at the center, said its acting director, Andrew Konitzer.
“She was an extremely bright, positive, energetic person who was dedicated to her students and international education,” Mr. Konitzer said late Friday night. “It’s going to leave a huge hole in our center. We’re a small office, we’re very tight. We’re more friends than colleagues.”
Police Cmdr. Kathy Degler said accident investigators told her Ms. Hicks became trapped between two vehicles in a chain reaction accident. The strip of Forbes Avenue in front of the Carnegie Music Hall was closed for about nearly four hours after the accident as investigators did their work at the scene.
The commander said Ms. Hicks was behind a vehicle at a red light in the left turning lane of Forbes at its intersection with South Bellefield.
A car in one of two through lanes attempted to cross over into the turning lane but struck a vehicle behind the cyclist. That car then struck the bicycle, pushing it into the car in front of it and knocking it over, between the two vehicles.
A man who was driving the car that switched lanes had some type of medical emergency after the crash, and he and Ms. Hicks were taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where Ms. Hicks later died, Ms. Toler said.
The four-lane, heavily traveled street has no dedicated bike lane where it passes through the Pitt campus.
Bike Pittsburgh announced on its Facebook page later Friday that a candlelight vigil is planned for the victim at 5 p.m. Saturday outside the music hall at 4400 Forbes Ave. The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy today.
Ms. Hicks had a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of British Columbia, according to her LinkedIn profile page. She had bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.
She had been in her current position at Pitt since last November after joining the center in January 2013 as a program manager. Before that, she had worked for the American Councils for International Education in the Russian city of Ufa, and she had previously taught at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and the University of British Columbia.
Mr. Konitzer said Ms. Hicks commuted to work every day on her bike.
“The loss of this person is going to affect us very deeply,” said Mr. Konitzer. “She’ll be missed. Terribly.”