NJ Transit Investigation Says Safety Mechanisms Working When Boehlert Fatally Struck

Montclair, NJ – Investigators said Monday that safety mechanisms at the North Fullerton Avenue crossing — including flashing lights and crossing gates — were working as intended on Monday, April 4, when journalist, media critic and publisher Eric Boehlert was killed while riding his bicycle, according to NJ Transit spokesperson Jim Smith.

Boehlert died at approximately 9:40 p.m., when he was fatally struck by Montclair Boonton Line train 1087 en route to the Watchung Avenue station in Montclair.

A fierce advocate for truth in the media, Boehlert was the author of two nonfiction books: Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (2006), and Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press (2009). In 2020 he started his own subscription newsletter Press Run. He was 56.

A memorial service for Boehlert will be held at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at First Congregational Church in Montclair, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Eric Boehlert Memorial Scholarship at Montclair High School.

“I appreciated learning that the safety mechanisms were working at the time Mr. Boehlert was struck,” said Councilor at Large Peter Yacobellis. “But I would also like to see NJ Transit come through Montclair and make sure that all of our crossings function and are timed properly. I think we would all breathe a little easier with that kind of affirmation.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. This terrible loss has garnered so much attention, as happens when a media personality is involved. But a death is a death. We should not be deterred from investigating further what kind of a public safety issue might have caused Mr. Boehlert’s death. He is consistently described as an avid bicyclist and athlete, riding near his home, so that he was entirely familiar with the topography, and was crossing a federally compliant intersection, and apparently the lights and the horn signals on the train were functioning. It just doesn’t seem to square. When the grieving is done, I hope Montclair, and all of us bicyclists, will be informed of the final report on this tragedy. The train is very much a part of this community. We should know all the good and bad so as to avoid any further incidents.

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