Friday, December 15, 2017

Chicago Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run in Humboldt Park

A 46-year old bicyclist was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver yesterday evening in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The driver of a 2009 Saturn SUV struck the bicyclist from behind while pulling away from a stop sign in the 3800 block West Augusta Boulevard. The vehicle ran over the bicyclist and continued driving east on Augusta. 
If anyone has any information regarding this collision, please contact the Chicago Police Department by calling 311. Images of the scene indicate that there may be a City of Chicago surveillance camera at this intersection. 
It is of great concern that as we approach 2018 so many fatal bicycle vs. motor vehicle accidents continue to occur, even with all of the progress that has been made in improving safety and increasing rights for bicyclists on the road. This collision serves as a reminder to us all about the responsibility we each owe to one another. If you have been involved in a collision, the law imposes certain responsibilities on you; however, these responsibilities should come naturally as the only right thing to do. A bicycle vs. motor vehicle collision can often be more sensitive than a collision involving just motor vehicles because the bicyclist does not have the bodily protection of a vehicle. Therefore, it is even more critical that every driver stays at the scene of the collision in a bicycle vs. motor vehicle collision. It can be the difference between life and death if there is no one else around to render help to the injured bicyclist.
Illinois Laws Require Drivers to Give Aid to Injured Bicyclists

It is the law in Illinois for drivers to render aid to an injured bicyclist. Drivers in Illinois who are involved in a crash are legally required to:

  • Stay at the scene of the crash long enough to provide the injured party with their information; and
  • If necessary or if requested to arrange for medical care for the injured bicyclist. 

Section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code provides the groundwork for the motorist: 

"The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident, or as close thereto as possible and shall then forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled."

Section 11-403 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code more specifically lays out the requirements any such motorist must fulfill before leaving the scene of a collision that leads to personal injuries: 

"The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give the driver’s name, address, registration number and owner of the vehicle the driver is operating and shall upon request and if available exhibit such driver’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with an shall render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying or the making of arrangements for the carrying of such person to the physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person."

In 2011 the law regarding hit-and-runs in Illinois was amended to allow the motorist to avoid prosecution for the hit-and-run by notifying the authorities within a half hour of the accident or within a half hour of being discharged from the hospital for an injury or incapacitation suffered in the accident. Section 11-401(b) provides as follows: 

"Any person who has failed to stop or to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) shall, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after such motor vehicle accident, or, if hospitalized and incapacitated from reporting at any time during such period, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after being discharged from the hospital, report the place of the accident, the date, the approximate time, the driver's name and address, the registration number of the vehicle driven, and the names of all other occupants of such vehicle, at a police station or sheriff's office near the place where such accident occurred. No report made as required under this paragraph shall be used, directly or indirectly, as a basis for the prosecution of any violation of (staying at scene requirements)."

This is the second death of a bicyclist in the Humboldt Park neighborhood this year. Early in 2017 Jezniah Smith was killed in a collision with an out of state driver in a rental car. Keating Law Offices represented Mr. Smith's family in the resolution of that case. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.