Milton teen killed in tragic cycling accident

Posted: 07/05/13 at 6:15 am EDT      Last Updated: 07/05/13 at 5:00 pm EDT

MILTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- The death of a popular Milton High School student has rocked her community. Merritt Levitan was riding her bicycle, cross country with a group of friends, when a car slammed into them, and killed the 18-year-old.

Merritt Levitan had just graduated from Milton Academy where she was captain of the tennis team. Teammates said she was loved and admired.

“She was such a likeable person. I've never heard anyone say a bad thing about her, she was hardworking,” said Abby Lebovitz, Milton Academy classmate.

“She was always so happy, regardless of what was going on. She had the most positive attitude,” said Kendall Hall, Milton Academy classmate.

Merritt was one of 13 cyclists biking cross country from Charleston, South Carolina to Santa Monica, California. Then, tragedy struck in rural Arkansas.

Police say a 21-year-old man plowed his car into the group, injuring six.

For days, friends and neighbors only knew Merritt had been gravely injured. Now, they are devastated by her death.

“I have heard they are a lovely family. Very sad to hear that happened to them. My condolences to all the family,” said Colm Dunphy, neighbor.

“It's a terrible sad thing. I would see her going back and forth. Sometimes they would walk down the street,” said Peggy Lee, neighbor.

Her classmates are struggling with the tragedy.

“Sometimes I think she's still on her trip and I'll talk to her when she comes home,” Lebovitz said.

Merritt's classmates said she was to attend Colgate for college in the fall.

With her death, police in Arkansas are weighing serious charges against that 21-year-old driver.

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