Monday, July 27, 2015

Chicago Bicyclist Walking Bike Across Western Ave. Killed In Fatal Collision With SUV

News outlets are reporting that a 53-year old man was killed late Saturday night while attempting to walk his bicycle across Western at its intersection with Congress. As the man was walking his bicycle across Western, he was struck by a 2014 Kia SUV that was traveling southbound on Western Avenue. The driver of the SUV was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

According to the NBC report, witnesses saw the bicyclist trying to cross the street at the same time as the SUV's driver attempted to swerve around the bicyclist in order to pass the bicyclist. However, the driver of the SUV could not avoid the bicyclist and the tragic collision occurred.

Given the fact that the Chicago Police Department cited the driver for failure to reduce speed, it is a reasonable question to consider the speed of the driver as he approached Congress heading southbound on Western Avenue.  Illinois law also requires all motorists to provide at least three feet of room when passing a bicyclist. Section 11-601 of the Illinois Vehicle Code requires all motorists to reduce speed as they approach an intersection.In addition, Section 11-1003.1 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code states that every driver of a vehicle must 1) always exercise care to avoid colliding with pedestrians and bicyclists, and 2) sound their horn to provide warning of an impending impact. The precise language of the statute as it applies to this bicycle accident is as follows: 
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human power and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. 
This is another tragic fatality in the month of July in Illinois where a bicyclist lost his life. Earlier this month, Jose Gomez of Des Plaines was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle operated by a United Airlines employee who fled the scene. Jarod Kyle Shumaker of Olive Branch, Illinois was killed when a vehicle did not provide the required 3-Feet of room when passing and clipped the bicyclist sending him into traffic. Jack Henderson of Waukegan was also killed in a hit-and-run. 

Each of these tragic instances reflect how the failure of a motorist to adhere to the rules of the road can lead to death. It is important for all users of the roadways to remember that bicyclists are vulnerable users of the roadway. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all of these victims. 

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.