Monday, November 16, 2020

75-Year Old Cyclist Killed in Crash with Driver of Motor Vehicle in Cicero

75-year-old cyclist, Efren Avitia, was killed in a crash in near west suburban Cicero on Friday, November 13, 2020. According to a Chicago Sun-Times
article, the victim was struck by a vehicle when he was biking near 31st Street and Austin Boulevard at about 10:00 a.m. The victim was transported via ambulance from the scene of the crash to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead early Saturday morning.

An autopsy of the victim found that the person died of multiple blunt force injuries and the death was ruled an "accident." The use of the term "accident" is one chosen by law enforcement and only means that the crash was not caused intentionally. The term "accident" in this context does not mean that the crash was determined to be unavoidable. "Accident" in this context is also meant to be distinguishable from "intentional" which is when the driver purposefully causes the crash. 

While details about this crash are otherwise limited, based on the facts available it seems to be a case where the Illinois Vehicle Code would still provide protection for the cyclist. Section 11-1003.1 states:
“[E]very 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 . . . .”
The key component of Section 11-1003.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code is the “due care” clause. Under the law, "due care" means the "care that an ordinarily reasonable and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances." In other words, cutting off bicyclists, making left-hand turns in front of bicyclists, tailgating bicyclists, etc. are actions far from "due care." Motorists not only should give bicyclists respect, but they are required to give respect as it is what the legal notion of "due care" requires. The driver involved in this collision should have exercised all reasonable precautions to avoid crashing into Mr. Avitia and causing this horrendous result.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this crash as well as their family and friends.