Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chicago Bike Community Remembers Neill Townsend

The victim of a tragic bicycle accident on Wells Street on the Near North Side has been identified as Neill Townsend. Last night, dozens of Chicago bicyclists gathered at the scene of the fatal bicycle accident at Wells and Oak Street to pay vigil to this great loss and remember Neill.

"Victim" may not be a strong enough word for what happened to Neill. By all accounts Neill did everything right. He was riding on the clearly marked bike lane with the flow of traffic. He was aware of his surroundings and when the car door was opened in front of him he took evasive action but couldn't account for the oncoming truck that was so close it could not stop prior to striking Neill.

I didn't know Neill personally, but his death struck very close to home. Neill and I apparently shared not only a passion for bicycling, but also an interest in the law and a love of the writing of Hunter S. Thompson. These similarities remind me that what happened to him could happen to any of us, no matter how careful we are when riding. He and his family have certainly been and will be in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace, Neill.