ASU doctoral student, renowned pianist Xiaoying Wen killed in Tempe crash

TEMPE, AZ - Friends and family are mourning Xiaoying Wen, an Arizona State University student and renowned pianist who was hit and killed while on a bicycle last week.

Wen was transported to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Tempe police said the truck driver had the right of way during the crash at Rural Road and Vista del Cerro Drive, but friends of Wen say the light at the intersection is timed so that the driver and Wen both had a green light when the crash happened.

Tempe Police released the following statement regarding the crash:

We received your inquiry in regards to this incident.  It is a very tragic traffic collision and our hearts go out to Wen’s family and friends. 

To answer your questions, there were other witnesses at the scene that provided statements of the accounts to police.  There were no issues with the lights, both the bicyclist and driver of the vehicle had a green light.  Please keep in mind that bicycles are not afforded any legal protection by a crosswalk or a walk sign because they are not pedestrians.

Cyclists are subject to the same rules as vehicles and are required to yield when leaving the sidewalk and entering the roadway, just as cars are required to do.  As a result, the driver of the vehicle was not cited since he had the right of way. 

I understand this is a very difficult time for his family and friends and completely understand that they want as much information about the investigation.  I hope this helps clarify their concerns. 

According to his Arizona State University bio, Wen was pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a major in piano performance. Wen also taught and mentored his own students at ASU because of his expertise.

Wen graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned a Master of Music degree in piano performance and earned his Bachelor’s degree at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China.

As a soloist, he was the winner of the Missouri State MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition and has held many recitals in his piano career.

Wen studied under Dr. Baruch Meir, an associate professor of piano at Arizona State University. Meir posted a heartfelt message online about Wen. Here’s a small part of that post:

While being one of the most talented people I have ever encountered, Xiaoying was also very humble. He was a bright light among us and embraced life to the fullest. Anyone who knew Xiaoying could see his gentle soul, and his playfulness. He was really wonderful with children including my Zohar. He had a special generosity about him, a true kindness and a positive spirit.

Here's just one of many videos you can find online of Wen's performances.

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