Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Illinois Bicyclist Killed in Crash with SUV in Hoffman Estates

Southbound Gannon Drive at Golf Road in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Michael Schoop of Hoffman Estates has died as a result of injuries he sustained on Wednesday when the driver of an SUV did not yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist when the driver exited an access road. According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Michael Schoop was riding his bicycle southbound on Gannon Drive just south of the intersection with Golf Road in Hoffman Estates. As the bicyclist road southbound on Gannon Drive, the driver of an SUV exited what the report refers to as an "access road" and the collision with the bicyclist occurred. 
Images of the location, however, do not show any "access road" and instead depict parking lots to area businesses that have entrances to Gannon Drive. According to Illinois law, the driver of a vehicle exiting a parking lot has the duty to yield to oncoming traffic when exiting. A bicycle, as a "vehicle" under Illinois law, is "traffic." Section 11-1205 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states:
"The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within an urban area shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving into the sidewalk area extending across such alley, building, entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon, and shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid collision, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on such roadway." (625 ILCS 5/11-1205)
In January of 2017 "Dennis' Law" went into effect that specifically clarified Illinois law that bicyclists are entitled to all of the "rights," including the right-of-way, as a motor vehicle. Keating Law Offices represented the family of Dennis Jurs in their wrongful death action and were instrumental in the passing of the "Dennis' Law." That fatal crash occurred when a motorist did not stay stopped at a stop sign and instead drover directly into the path of Dennis Jurs who was riding on a road that had no traffic control signals and was supposed to have the right-of-way. 
Mr. Schoop was a resident of Hoffman Estates. He passed away Friday as a result of his injuries in this crash. This is an incredible unfortunate crash that may have been preventable. Instead a bicyclist has lost his life. Our most sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Michael Schoop. May he rest in peace.