UF Student Hit And Killed In Collision With Garbage Truck


Update at 5:40 p.m.:

A University of Florida student has died after colliding with a garbage truck while riding her bicycle on University Ave.

Screenshot of Abigail Dougherty taken from her Facebook page.
Screenshot of Abigail Dougherty taken from her Facebook page.

Abigail Dougherty was riding southbound on NW 17th St. to cross University Ave., at the same time a garbage truck was heading south on 17th St. to turn west onto University Ave. The truck struck and ran over the Dougherty, causing fatal injuries, according to Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias.

Officials are unsure at this point who had the right of way. A traffic homicide investigation, which involves laser measurements, toxicology and interviews with witnesses and is standard in all fatal crashes, is underway, according to Tobias.

“It’s very common to see bicycles and pedestrians traveling alongside cars on that road,” Tobias said. “It’s a sobering reminder, whether we are driving or riding a bicycle, to look out for one another.”

Dougherty was 20 years old, just shy of her 21st birthday on Nov. 3. According to her Facebook page, she was studying applied physiology and kinesiology, was a yoga instructor at UF Rec Sports and worked at the UF Field & Fork, the university’s campus food pantry.

“The death of Abby Dougherty is a heartbreaking and tragic loss for the University of Florida community,” said University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies are extended to Abby’s family, friends and everyone whose lives she touched. She was an excellent student and was very giving of her time, working at the UF Food Pantry for the Dean of Students Office, serving as a Campus Diplomat and teaching on-campus as a yoga instructor. Abby will be greatly missed.”

University spokesman John Hines said the university is encouraging students to use the U Matter We Care website. The 24-hour hotline, 352-294-CARE, and email, umatter@ufl.edu, are monitored around the clock.

“U Matter, We Care serves as UF’s umbrella program for UF’s caring culture and provides students in distress with support and coordination of the wide variety of appropriate resources.  Families, faculty and students can contact umatter@ufl.edu seven days a week for assistance for students in distress.”

Michael B Reid, Dean of the College of Health & Human Performance wrote in an email to students, staff and faculty of the College, “I very sorry to share that Abby Dougherty, an amazing student in our College, passed away today in a bike and truck accident. All of us are deeply saddened by this tragic loss. We grieve with Abby’s family and her many friends in the UF community.”

In addition to the counseling services provided by  U Matter We Care, Reid said to contact him directly by e-mail (michael.reid@ufl.edu) or by phone (352-294-1614) at any time if additional assistance is needed.

The University will host a memorial service for Abby after the family service occurs, according to Reid.

A grief counseling session coordinated by the Dean of Students office and the Counseling and Wellness Center was held Friday at 4 p.m. at the Reitz Student Union for students who knew Dougherty or were impacted by her death. Meggan Sixbey, assistant director of the Counseling and Wellness Center, said the counseling session will be made available for as long as necessary to help each student.

Gainesville PIO Ben Tobias says the investigation is ongoing and they will be pulling roadway footage to confirm exactly what happened today

— Delaney Kline (@DelaneyKline) October 28, 2016


University Avenue is back open and all lanes are clear.

Original story:

University Ave. remains closed from 13 St. to 22nd St. due to a crash involving a cyclist at 17th St. this morning.

Traffic is being diverted and officials encourage drivers to avoid the area.

Officials have not confirmed the condition of those involved, but injuries are serious, according to Gainesville Police spokesperson Ben Tobias.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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