Thursday, August 18, 2016

Chicago Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run By Cargo Van Driver on West Side

Photo from
A Chicago bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago's West Side late Wednesday night. The bicyclist was riding along the 4000 west block of Maypole Avenue when he was struck by a white cargo van. The driver of the cargo van then fled west on Maypole.

Surveillance footage posted by the Chicago Tribune shows a white cargo van with the letter "A" prominently displayed and the phone number 312-763-3191. Anyone with information can contact police at 312-745-4521.

The bicyclist was taken to Stroger Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this bicyclist. This is the second bicyclist killed in a collision with a motor vehicle in Chicago in the past week.

Drivers in Illinois who are involved in a crash are legally required to:
1) Stay at the scene of the crash long enough to provide the injured party with their information; and

2) 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."
Rather interestingly, 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)."
There is no reasonable excuse for a hit-and-run. Illinois law provides reasonable requirements for drivers who have been involved in a crash to stay involved. Even in instances where the driver is injured, there is still a window of time to legally report the crash.