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November 08, 2023

Former J.R. Masterman School teacher fatally struck by car while biking in Roxborough

Kevin St. Clair, 64, was killed Monday in a two-vehicle crash along Henry Avenue, police say

Investigations Crashes
Cyclist Killed Masterman StreetView/Google

The community at J.R. Masterman School, shown above at 1699 Spring Garden St., is mourning the death of retired teacher Kevin St. Clair. He was killed Monday in a car crash while riding his bike in Roxborough.

A former teacher and dean at J.R. Masterman School was killed in a car crash Monday night while cycling in Roxborough, police and school officials said.

Kevin St. Clair, 64, was identified as the victim in a multi-car crash along the 7500 block of Henry Avenue. The crash happened just before 7 p.m. as St. Clair was riding eastbound on Wises Mill Road and made a right turn onto Henry Avenue. A black Chrysler struck St. Clair and knocked him into the northbound lane, where a Toyota collided with him in the roadway, police said.

St. Clair was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center and later died from his injuries. Both drivers remained at the scene. The driver of the Chrysler was taken to Temple University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Although the former sixth grade teacher, middle school dean and cross-country coach had retired, he remained active in the Masterman community, the school wrote on Facebook.

"Both of his sons were students at Masterman and many current teachers watched them grow up. He and his wife Ellen always joyfully attended school events like concerts and the school auction," school officials said. "He never stopped caring about Masterman. As a community we share our appreciation of his life and contributions to our school and send sincere condolences to his loved ones."

The school is offering counseling and mental health support for those grieving St. Clair's death.

The crash is the 10th this year to kill a cyclist in Philly, marking the highest number on record in the city, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

Last month, the city released its annual Vision Zero report on traffic fatalities in Philadelphia, covering data from last year. The report found that the number of fatal crashes and crashes involving a serious injury fell by 34% in 2022, while crashes involving less severe injuries dropped by 20%.

PennDOT has undertaken some road safety improvements along Henry Avenue in nearby East Falls, where traffic signals have been upgraded and raised center medians and bump-outs have been installed. In 2020, a 17-year-old was fatally struck by a car while riding his bike in the area of Henry Avenue and Barnes Street in Wissahickon, just over two miles from where St. Clair was killed. The stretch there has a conventional bike lane. 

Philadelphia has about 30 miles of protected bike lanes and plans to complete 40 miles by 2025. The Vision Zero report hopes installing these bike lanes will result in 17% fewer crashes and twice as many bikers in the areas where they are added.