Friday, May 7, 2010

Taxi and Bicyclist Collide In Chicago Loop, Driver Flees Scene

A Loop bicyclist was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition yesterday after a collision with a taxi, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. It is reported that the bicyclist collided with the cab when the driver halted to pick up a fare. The driver was later cited for leaving the scene of an accident.

From published accounts it is not clear how the accident occurred. From personal experience commuting by bicycle into the Loop, it is not uncommon for taxi operators to drive erratically when stopping to pick up a fare. It is unknown whether the injured cyclist had been closely following the taxi just prior to the accident. It is important not to jump to conclusions about how this accident took place. Hopefully, the bicyclist will make a full and speedy recovery.

What is clear is that under Illinois law, leaving the scene of an accident is a no-no. A driver of a vehicle must immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death. 625 ILCS 5/11-401. Failure to do so may result in a felony conviction. 625 ILCS 5/11-401. The driver must also give his or her name, address, registration number and identify the vehicle's owner, and render aid to anyone injured in the accident. 625 ILCS 5/11-403.

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