One of Fairview Heights most well-known and well-liked residents died tragically of injuries he sustained in a bicycle accident on the morning of July 10, 2013. Phillip J. Lubeck, a 62 year old veteran bicyclist, was riding his bicycle southbound on Illinois 159, also known as North Illinois Street, towards its intersection with Kassing Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle traveling in the same direction. The Fairview County Police Department responded to the scene. Lieutenant Steve Evans reportedly stated it was readily apparent that Mr. Lubeck suffered "life-threatening injuries." He was transported to Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois where he was pronounced dead. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.
The city of Fairview Heights is already feeling the void in their community resulting from Phillip Lubeck's passing. Fairview Heights Mayor Gail Mitchell described Mr. Lubeck as his "buddy" and "go-to guy," stating that Mr. Lubeck frequently volunteered for a number of community events including "homecoming, the art fair, the senior picnic, and the fishing rodeo." Because of his exemplary volunteer efforts, Mayor Mitchell presented Mr. Lubeck with a plaque approximately five years ago, naming Mr. Lubeck Fairview Heights' "Most Dedicated Person."
Mr. Lubeck's neighbor and friend Patrick McAndrews echoed the Mayor's sentiment, stating Mr. Lubeck was a lovable person who was always willing to lend a hand to others. Mr. McAndrews explained: "He lived alone, but Fairview was his family. He know everybody and never met a stranger . . . . Every city needs someone like him. He was special and he will be missed."
The Illinois Bicycle Attorneys at Keating Law Offices are saddened to learn of such a tragic loss. The number of bicycling fatalities in Illinois this year is alarming and is a shocking reminder that even experienced bicyclists such as Mr. Lubeck are still very vulnerable on the road. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Phillip Lubeck's friends and family, as well as the community of Fairview Heights.