Saturday, June 17, 2017

Illinois Bicyclist Leland DeBord Killed While Biking to Work

27-year old Leland DeBord was riding his bike to work along I-74 in Moline when he was struck by a motor vehicle. This impact propelled him from his bicycle over the railing and onto I-280. Mr. DeBord died as a result of his injuries. The collision happened early Friday morning. 

Mr. DeBord's family members remember him as a hardworking and loving father. In an article by Elizabeth Wadas of WQAD in the Quad Cities family members said that Mr. DeBord's car recently broke down. Undeterred by this and knowing he needed to get to work to help provide for his children, he was bicycling to work at the time of the fatal crash. 

Illinois bicycle laws provide that all bicyclists in Illinois have the same rights as motorists to the roadway. In addition, they are entitled to certain protections from motor vehicles. Illinois law requires motorists to provide at least three feet of room between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing the bicyclist. The "3-Foot Rule" comes from sub-paragraph (d) of Section 11-703 of the Illinois Rules of the Road. This law states:
(625 ILCS 5/11‑703) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑703) Sec. 11‑703. Overtaking a vehicle on the left. The following rules govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules otherwise stated in this Chapter:(d) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.
In Illinois, the family of a person who dies as the result of an accident can pursue legal actions against the parties responsible. 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. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Leland DeBord, but most especially his children at this time. This is another tragic reminder of the dangers that Illinois bicyclists face when using the roadways in Illinois.