Needham Woman Killed In Alabama On Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride

BOSTON (CBS) – A Needham woman who was leading a cross-country charity bike ride was struck and killed in Alabama Monday.

Christina Genco was traveling from South Carolina to California with a group of riders from Bike & Build when she was hit by an SUV.

Genco was a 22-year-old Boston University graduate who had already completed one cross-country ride for Bike & Build in 2009.

“We are all shaken by this terrible news, and this will be a difficult time for everyone in our community,” the group said on its web site. “We have solace in the strength of the Bike & Build community, which we will count on to support each other as we respond to this tragedy.

Read: Full Statement (.pdf)

The web site cites an Alabama State Police report saying it is currently unclear whether the SUV driver who struck Genco will face any charges.

  • MJ

    Why is it necessary to state that the driver was driving an SUV? I’m sick and tired of people bashing the big bad SUVs and the big bad SUV drivers. I have an SUV and I am a very courteous, cautious driver. I have, however, seen many jerks on bycles blocking traffic or risking themselves and others riding bikes right out in front of moving cars. I’m sorry that this poor woman died, but I didn’t feel that the “SUV” line was a necessary detail, and it will undoubtedly spark negative anti-SUV comments from the morons who think SUV people are evil.

    • Biker


      If the report stated it was a car – that wouldn’t be accurate, would it? If it had been a pickup truck would you be offended if that term was used? Tragic death and you’re hung up on SUV-bashing.

      • MJ

        Obviously this young person’s tragic death is more important than people giving me a hard time about what kind of car I drive, but my point is, if she had been hit by a Prius, she still would have died, and the writer explicitly put that the vehicle was an SUV as if that had something to do with the quality of the driver. I know good SUV Drivers, I know bad ones. I know good sedan drivers, I know bad ones. Also, the comment about how the driver drove recklessly trying to pass cyclists is just another example of why bicycles should not be on the roads. I see them out there all the time, riding out in front of cars as if they were invincible. And then the driver – SUV, pickup truck, sedan, hybrid, wagon ,WHATEVER gets in trouble for hitting the moron who can’t ride their bike on a trail where it’s safe to ride a bike. Streets are for cars.

    • JK

      The article was stating a fact. The driver of the vehicle in question was indeed driving a SUV. I do not see anything in the news summary or the full report that generalizes SUV drivers in any negative light. Any intelligent objective reader would not have cause to think otherwise any more than an article about an Islamic terrorist would impart that all Muslims are evil.

      According to the preliminary report, the cyclists were riding “on the shoulder of the road”. These are experienced road-tested long distance athletes who would undoubtedly be very familiar with traffic laws and good riding safety. Cyclists have an absolute right to share the road with drivers, and we as drivers have a legal and moral obligation to slow down and make a proper pass when it is safe to do so. There are bad cyclists out there who run lights and cut drivers off, and there are bad drivers out there who do the same. It appears there were multiple witnesses to this tragedy and I hope a thorough and comprehensive reconstruction and investigation will take place. Until then, I hope the finger pointing stops and we all express our sorrow and sympathy to the Genco family.

      • MJ

        I’m actually a cyclist myself, but I ride bike trails. Beyond that, I would like to be the peace maker here and not give any more ammunition for anger and just offer my sincere condolences to the family of the departed. Thank you.

      • MJ

        @SB. The “morons” I was referring to are the people who assume that all SUV drivers are bad drivers. I am an SUV driver and I drive very cautiously. My comments about bikes being on the roads was not an attack against the deceased personally, but rather a statement about the general safety hazard that bicycles on main roads poses. I admire anyone who does anything for charity, as I do charity things myself, and it sounds like she was a great person. I also am a bicycle rider, but I choose to ride mine on the trails because I feel safer. I did not imply, however, that Ms. Genco was riding her bike recklessly, it sounds like she was a well-trained cyclist and that this was nothing more than a tragic accident. I do not wish to fight with anybody on here any longer, this is getting old. I’m sorry I started all of this trouble by making a point, and I wish I never made my first post. Thank you.

      • SB

        @MJ: may i point out that she was riding for charity and as JK mentions, this was not her first time on a cross-country trip … she was not just goofing off in the middle of the road like the “morons” you mention. i am also her friend and i know for a fact that she understood the dangers of road biking but was willing to face the risks to do what she believed was right for others. Sorry if you disagree, but what she was doing was a completely selfless and honorable thing.

    • michael

      I’m sorry how are cyclists blocking traffic–in all 50 of these United States bicycles have legal use of roads as a vehicle. Just because you aren’t going as fast as you want to, doesn’t permit you to run them down.

      SUV drivers generally are the worst people on the roads. They are nearly universally the worst things on the road for the environment.

      • MJ

        I said I was going to silence the bickering on here, but I have to respond. Bikes do get in the way, causing drivers to drive well below the speed limit to avoid hitting them, sometimes slamming on their brakes to avoid hitting them. It has happened to me many times. Bikes do not belong on the main roads. I never said that I wanted to run them down, quite the opposite. It is very generalizing, ignorant and unwarranted to say that SUV drivers are generally the worst drivers, and I know lots of people who have SUVs and drive cautiously, myself included. Also, I have the right to drive my SUV regardless of what Al Gore thinks.

  • MP

    I read the press release. The cyclist was hit when the SUV driver tried to pass the two cyclists and in the process hit one of them. That is driver error.

  • RL

    I hope I run into MJ when I am on the road biking.

  • Joe Genco

    Hi I am her brother I would just like to point out she was from Newton, Mass not Needham.

    • MJ

      My sincere condolences.

    • ben

      Still not fixed joe.

  • Elaine

    Hi Joe, I know your mom and knew your sister. I am so sorry this has happened. Please accept my deepest condolences.

  • CS

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your sister was an incredible person that I will never forget. Her smile, her laugh and her positive energy. She was always the calm in the storm when we knew her. My daughter plays for REV and she loved her. She wore her shirt she bought to support Brooke’s ride to school Tuesday after she heard the news. I wish you and your family could have seen the girls that night when they came together to remember your sister. She was truly, truly loved by them all. Please know that so many of our kids (and us parents) are missing her. Please take of yourself and your family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Norm Mohl

    To my friend and colleague Bob Genco: Eldene and I are so very sorry about your tragic loss. It is hard to know what to say at a time like this. But we are thinking of you and your wonderful family. Norm Mohl

  • fausto Coppi

    Actually that’s manslaughter.

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