‘Ghost Bike’ Ceremony Honors Cyclist Killed in Back Bay Accident
After Anita Kurmann’s death, her mother came to Boston and tied a ribbon to a pole at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street where her daughter was fatally struck by a flatbed truck while riding her bike two weeks ago.
On Thursday evening, the large crowd that gathered to mourn her wore pink ribbons, too, pinned close to their hearts.
Kurmann, a Cambridge resident who had come to Boston from Switzerland a few years ago, worked as an endocrine surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and researcher at Boston University’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.
The memorial service held on Thursday included the dedication of a white “ghost bike,” a tradition in the cycling community meant to serve as both a reminder of the loss and draw attention to cyclists’ rights to safe travel.
Before the vigil, volunteers cleaned up the makeshift memorial of flowers that had been accumulating since Kurmann’s death two weeks ago.
Boston Cyclists Union member John Adams chained the “ghost bike” to mark the spot where Kurmann was struck. The bike was donated by Brookline couple Rebecca Albrecht and Paul Larrabee.
Rev. Laura Everett of the Massachusetts Council of Churches oversaw the memorial service.
Kurmann’s friends and colleagues placed flowers inside the ghost bike’s basket.
Captain John Danilecki of the Boston Police Department offered his condolences. He shared that the intersection where Kurmann died had been identified as one of the city’s most dangerous spots for cyclists.
A large crowd gathered for the memorial service.
Attendees wore pink ribbons to honor Kurmann.
Many members of the city’s cycling community were in attendance.
Joel Feingold (center), who organizes the “Ride of Silence, led a moment of silence.
People placed their hands on the “ghost bike” during the dedication. Those who couldn’t reach the bike held on to each other.
Mourners placed flowers and donations to the Survivors’ Fund of the Boston Cyclists Union inside the basket.