A donation fund has been created to help defray the costs of the extensive medical treatment needed by Chicago bicyclist, Dustin Valenta, who was seriously injured on February 8th in Wicker Park. The fund was set up by Cut Cats, a bicycle messenger company for whom Mr. Valenta works. Those wishing to contribute can do so here: http://www.gofundme.com/21raks.
Meanwhile, additional details have emerged regarding the crash itself which left Mr. Valenta with 23 broken ribs, a fractured shoulder and shattered the base of his skull. According to a description of the crash posted on the GoFundMe website, the bicyclist was riding along the 1400 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when a motorist carelessly opened a vehicle door into his path. Mr. Valenta crashed to the street where he was then run over by a truck. He was wearing a helmet which, according to his doctors, may have saved his life.
Though details have been slow to emerge regarding this terrible event, those that have trickled out make the incident seem eerily familiar to another cycling tragedy which occurred in October in the Old Town neighborhood. It involved a young attorney, Neill Townsend, who was forced to swerve into the path of a truck in order to avoid a flung open door along North Wells Street. Mr. Townsend was killed when the truck was unable to avoid him.