Teen Cyclist Killed on Cross-Country Ride

Car struck 7 riders in Arkansas

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2013 7:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Boston-area teenager was on a cross-country cycling trip when she and six others were hit by a car Tuesday near McCrory, Arkansas. Merritt Levitan, 18, died yesterday from her injuries; the others were hospitalized, the Boston Globe reports. The 21-year-old driver, Teagan Martin, is facing an investigation ahead of possible charges. There's no sign he was drinking, a prosecutor notes, per KAIT8. Two of the cyclists are still in the hospital, the Boston Herald notes.

The directors of the program running the Charleston, SC, to Santa Monica, Calif., trip, Massachusetts-based Overland, canceled the remaining miles. "At this point, we believe that this is what needs to be done to allow all involved time to process their thoughts and emotions while surrounded by loved ones," they said. According to the prosecutor, charges are likely—"we’re just not sure what they will be at this point," he tells the Herald. Police are investigating whether Martin was using his phone; he says he was "looking off across the field and didn’t see them until it was too late," the official notes. (Among the week's other tragedies: A falling tree killed a camp counselor near Yosemite on Wednesday.)

A Boston-area teen was killed in a cross-country cycling accident.
A Boston-area teen was killed in a cross-country cycling accident.   (Shutterstock)
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