Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bicyclist Killed in Collision on Harlem Avenue in Harwood Heights

4900 block of North Harlem Avenue in Harwood Heights, IL where bicyclists Jose Romero was fatally struck and killed as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle while riding his bicycle.

News outlets are reporting that a bicyclist was fatally struck and killed as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle in one of Chicago's suburbs. Jose Romero was riding his bicycle in the 4900 block of North Harlem Avenue in Harwood Heights on Wednesday when he was struck by a motorist who was exiting a business on Harlem Avenue. The is the second motor vehicle vs. bicycle collision within the past few weeks that has resulted in the death of the bicyclist in the Chicago area.

According to reports, the motorist was pulling out of a driveway to a business and attempting to enter Harlem Avenue. As the motorist was preparing to exit the driveway, she was checking for oncoming traffic to her left and apparently pulling into Harlem Avenue at the same time the bicyclist was passing on the motorist's right. As a result, it appears that the motorist did not see Jose Romero and he was struck with the vehicle as it entered Harlem Avenue.

The motorist was reportedly issued a traffic citation for failure to yield to oncoming traffic and now faces these charges as a result of the fatal collision. Section 11-906 of the Illinois Vehicle Code requires vehicles exiting a private drive to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. In addition, Section 703(e) requires motor vehicles to not drive "unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist." Beyond the statutory principles, it is a well known principle to "check both ways" and keep a proper lookout when entering into traffic.

This tragic collision could also be the bases of a civil case brought by the family of Jose Romero. Under Illinois law, the family of a person who dies as a result of alleged negligence can bring a case under the Wrongful Death Act and the Survival Act. The Wrongful Death Act allows the family to make a claim for the loss of the family member and everything that family member provided to them, including the loss of their presence in their lives. Under the Survival Act the family may make a claim for the material losses such as medical bills and the pain and suffering the family member experienced prior to their death.

Outside of the law, anytime a person's life is lost as the result of a collision of this nature, it is a great loss and tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Jose Romero.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere law firm in Illinois that concentrates its practice on representing bicyclists and their families who have been injured or killed in a bicycle accident. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the current Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee for the national trial lawyers association.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Michael S. 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 always confidential and free.