Eric Boehlert, writer, killed by NJ Transit train in Montclair

A Montclair cyclist who was killed by a New Jersey Transit train near the Watchung Avenue station Monday night was writer Eric Boehlert, founder and editor of Press Runa media blog, according to his wife, Tracy Breslin.

After:Friends say Eric Boehlert had a ‘great life’ at Montclair, and his death comes as a shock

Boehlert, 56, was a veteran writer and media analyst and a frequent TV and radio guest discussing politics and the news on CNN and CNBC. He was a founding editor of Salon magazine, a member of Media Matters, and a former writer for Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines. He has written two books, “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush” and “Bloggers on the Bus.”

Journalist Soledad O’Brien tweeted: “Just had crushing news from Tracy Breslin, wife of @EricBoehlert @pressrun.media. She died in a bicycle accident at the age of 57. She loved her children Jane and Ben, his dogs, biking, running, basketball and good friends, a fierce and fearless defender of the truth.”

Hillary Clinton tweeted, “I am devastated for his family and friends and will miss his critical work.”

A statement from NJ Transit on Tuesday reported that a train on the Montclair Boonton line struck and killed an adult man on a bicycle Monday night “before” Watchung Avenue station between its 8:59 a.m. departure from Hoboken and its scheduled arrival at Hackettstown at 11:07 p.m.

The agency did not comment further as the incident is under investigation.

Now the hard part:After graduating from medical school at age 62, he will begin a 3-year residency

Breslin and Boehlert, married for 29 years, have two adult children and are longtime residents of Montclair. The 6-foot-4 Boehlert was a familiar figure around town on his daily errands, and he enjoyed biking through town in the evenings, Breslin said. Although she doesn’t know the circumstances of the crash, she said he had lights on his bike and was wearing reflective gear.

Her husband “loved living in Montclair; it was his place,” she said. He was a member of the Commonwealth Club and enjoyed going to Tierney’s Tavern and playing in the city’s basketball and softball leagues. “He was a fierce defender of the truth, and at the same time a really lovely guy,” she said.

FUNERAL SERVICES:Funeral planned for Eric Boehlert in Montclair next week

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Outside their Montclair Avenue home, a large teddy bear sits on a swing, something Breslin said her husband occasionally put on for neighborhood kids, until it became a staple during the pandemic.

“He just loved kids and loved making them happy,” she said.

Julia Martin is the 2021 recipient of the New Jersey Society for Professional Journalists’ David Carr Award for her coverage of Montclair for NorthJersey.com.

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Twitter: @TheWriteJulia