Saturday, December 3, 2011

8-Year-Old on Bike Killed in Hit-and-Run on Dangerous Street

View Larger MapThe Chicago Tribune is reporting on a particularly tragic and unfortunate story of 8-year old Mariella Crisostomo who was killed while riding her bike in front of her house in the Chicago Lawn Neighborhood. According to reports, Mariela was killed when she was struck by a gray or silver SUV who then fled the scene. The driver of the SUV was a female who then fled east on West 62nd Place.

Equally troubling are new reports from the Chicago Sun-Times that neighbors had petitioned the city for speed bumps to slow traffic in the 3300 block of West 62nd Place on the Southwest Side. Neighbors report that the narrow residential street has been part of a traffic pattern in vehicles circle the neighborhood while waiting to pick up shoppers on 63rd Street.

Speed bumps are a type of what are known as "traffic control" or "traffic calming" measures. Not only do speed bumps cause the vehicles to slow down, but they also act as a visual warning and reminder for vehicles to be alert and aware. Attorney Mike Keating of Keating Law Offices successfully representing an Aurora family whose son was killed in the parking lot of the apartment building where the family lived. Just like in this instance neighbors had complained of traffic problems and requested speed bumps. That case resolved in a financial settlement for the family in 2009.

The City of Chicago has some difficult questions to answer in light of these developments. Speed bumps, signs, marking on the street and other traffic calming measures are neither expensive nor difficult to install. These measures can transform entire neighborhoods. Given the warnings, it is difficult not to ask if this tragic collision would have been avoided with traffic calming measures in place.

As a parent and an attorney representing victims of collisions, this is a particularly sad story. Mariella did nothing wrong and was merely doing what she loved, riding her bike in the neighborhood. Also troubling is that reports reflect that the Chicago Police were slow in responding to the scene. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Keating Law Offices is with the Crisostomo family.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.