Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chicago Bicyclist Killed in Fatal Crash Near North Branch Trail in Niles is Identified

View of westbound Howard Street at the North Branch Trail.
The identity of a North Side bicyclist killed in a bicycle crash with a Mazda Miata has been identified as 39 year old Jeremy Ghisols of North Mulligan Street in Chicago.  The fatal crash occurred last week in Niles near the intersection of the North Branch Trail and Howard Street. At that location, the North Branch Trail runs in a direct North-South direction and Howard Street is a major East-West arterial street.

According to reports, police are still investigating the exact conditions and actions that may have caused  the fatal bicycle accident on July 9th. Niles police have indicated that the bicyclist may have "veered" off the path and was struck by a westbound Mazda. However, "veered" is an interesting verb choice given that the North Branch Trail path runs directly across Howard Street. Most bicyclists on the path therefore cross directly across the trail in a straight line. "To veer" is to change direction suddenly which would be an unusual action for a bicyclist traveling on the North Branch Trail across Howard Street.

However, no other details are available as of yet and no traffic citations have been issued. As of Monday morning, the investigation into the crash by the Niles police department remained ongoing. Niles itself had previously identified this location as one where improvements such as flashing beacons, signage and striping for a crosswalk could be implemented as a part of its multi-modal traffic plan to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. The ability of Niles to implement these improvements is reportedly based on obtaining additional funding from the Regional Transportation Authority.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragic event, especially the family and friends of Jeremy Ghisols.