PEABODY — A 13-year-old Peabody boy was struck and killed by a car Tuesday night while attempting to ride his bike across Route 114.
“Our entire community is heartbroken over the tragic death of this young Peabody student," said Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt. "We offer our prayers and support to the victim’s family during this extremely difficult time.”
Peabody police and the Essex District Attorney's office are investigating the death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim at this incredibly difficult time,” Peabody police Chief Thomas Griffin said Wednesday in a statement.
Officials are withholding the boy's name at the request of his next of kin to make a complete family notification.
Schools Superintendent Cara Murtagh said support services will be available to students. It was not clear where the teen attended school.
"We are saddened by the great loss to our school community and we are respecting the family's wishes for privacy at this most difficult time," she said. "Please keep the family in your thoughts."
Peabody police responded to reports of the crash at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday in front of the Walgreens plaza, 229 Andover St. According to radio reports at the time, the victim was reported to be unconscious.
The boy was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.
The driver of the car, a 19-year old Peabody man, was cooperating with the investigation and was not charged.
Essex District Attorney spokesperson Carrie Kimball said according to Peabody police, the victim was found without a helmet on. It is unknown whether he was wearing a helmet prior to the crash.
The victim was found in the eastbound lane of Route 114 on the shoulder, Kimball said. The driver was apparently heading eastbound in a Volkswagen GTI.
There are no crosswalks near the plaza where the crash occurred. The closest crosswalk to the crash scene crosses Route 114 at Loris Road, a half-mile to the east, in front of the Northshore Mall.
The roadway is five lanes wide, and includes two eastbound, two westbound and a middle turn lane.
"Your heart goes out to the family," said Ward 4 Councilor Edward Charest, whose ward encompasses the nearby neighborhood. "Devastating news, never mind a child at 13 riding a bike. I've known too many moms and dads who have lost a child ... I can't imagine what they are thinking."
Charest said he did not know the particulars of the crash, but said this stretch of Route 114 is dangerous to cross in a car.
Peabody police and Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section are investigating the accident. The state police team was called to the scene Tuesday night.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews.