Monday, August 30, 2010

Bicyclist Killed On Dan Ryan Expressway

A 28 year old man from Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood was killed last night when he was struck while riding his bicycle on the Dan Ryan Expressway.  The incident occurred at around 9:00 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Expressway near Garfield Boulevard.  The man, Christopher Hippchen, was dead on the scene.  Click here to read the account from

Exactly how this accident occurred has not yet been reported.  It is illegal to ride a bicycle on Illinois expressways.

Here is an update on this tragic story posted at 2:13 p.m. on the Chicago Breaking News Center.  It doesn't add much information about how and why this incident took place, but it offers a little information about who the cyclist was.

Friday, August 27, 2010

One City Gets Very Serious About Encouraging Bicycle Commuting

The folks in London have started building bicycling "superhighways" connecting the outer city and suburbs to central London.  The idea is to discourage people from driving into the city and encourage bike commuting that is, get this, fast and safe.  Cheers!

Bicyclist Killed By 85 Year Old Driver In Mount Prospect

An 85 year old driver struck and killed a bicyclist with his car near Golf and Busse roads in Mount Prospect very early Thursday morning.  The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but alcohol consumption is not believed to have been a factor.  Read the full story at

Anyone with information regarding this incident should call the Mount Prospect Police Department at 847.870.5656.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Belleville Man Hit By Car Walking His Bike, Suffers Skull Fracture

A man is hospitalized with an apparent skull fracture after being struck by a car while walking his bicycle with friends in Belleville, Illinois.  A report by suggests that the man was struck by the oncoming vehicle in the "traffic lane" of Carlyle west of the junction of Route 161.  For reasons that are thus far unclear, officials "do not anticipate issuing any citations in the incident," though it remains "under investigation."

Seven Year Old Struck By Car While Riding His Bike In Tower Lakes

A 7 year old boy was struck by a car and rendered unconscious while riding his bicycle in Tower Lakes, Illinois late yesterday afternoon.  The boy had been riding on West Lake Shore Drive and was wearing a helmet.  He was taken via ambulance to Good Shepard Hospital then was airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, IL.

This matter was reported at the Chicago Breaking News Center.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chicago Bicycle Commuter Involved In Crash At Milwaukee And Ogden

A sport utility vehicle suddenly pulled into the bicycle lane of Milwaukee Avenue, near Ogden, and directly into the path of a cyclist on August 10th, causing a serious collision.  The bicyclist was on his way home from work at about 7:30 p.m. when the SUV pulled in front of him from the CVS Pharmacy parking lot there.  He grabbed for his brakes immediately upon seeing the truck but could not avoid crashing head on into the vehicle.  He was wearing a helmet.  Our law firm has been retained to represent the biker.

Following the crash, our client was transported via ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a serious gash to his face, as well as neck and knee injuries.  His recovery is ongoing.

Layin' Down the Law In Logan Square

The City of Chicago's "Share the Road Campaign" will be in full effect in the Logan Square neighborhood on September 7th and 8th.  Two events on those dates will take place at the busy intersection of Kimball, Milwaukee and Diversey.  On Tuesday, the 7th, bicycle front headlights will be handed out at no charge to bicyclists without them between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.  Chicago Municipal Code requires bicycles to have a white light on the front that can be seen from at least 500 feet.  On the back a red light or reflector is required.

On Wednesday, September 8th, Chicago police officers and Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors will stake out a presence at the intersection and will stop cyclists and motorists acting dangerously and violating the rules of the road in order to "educate them on safety."  Specifically, motorists engaged in the following behaviors will be targeted:  parking in bike lanes, opening car doors in front of bicyclists, passing cyclists with less than 3 feet of space, distracted driving, failing to yield to cyclists and speeding.  Bicyclists will be stopped who disobey traffic signals, bike at night without headlights, bike on the sidewalk and bike against traffic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sixteen Year Old Riding Bicycle to See His Mother Struck And Killed By Driver Fleeing Police

A 16 year old boy was killed last night when a vehicle fleeing from police struck him while he rode his bicycle at the intersection of 154th Street and Greenwood Avenue in Dolton, Illinois.  Following the incident Kenyatta Brack, who lived not far from the scene, was taken to St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center in Hammond where he was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m.  According to Kenyatta's father, he was riding alone at the time, and was on his way to see his mother.  It is not clear how close police officers in pursuit of the driver were to the scene at the time of the collision.  They are still looking for the driver.

This matter was reported by The Chicago Breaking News Center.

Friday, August 13, 2010

NPR Radio Host Recovering After Being Struck By Car While Bicycling

Peter Sagal, host of a popular radio show on National Public Radio, is recovering after being struck by a car while on his bicycle about 10 miles from his Oak Park, IL home.  An accomplished marathon runner and triathlete, Mr. Sagal was riding his racing bike "at about 18 miles an hour on a quiet road."  As he did, he "noted a hatchback at the stop sign coming from [his] right."  When he proceeded through the intersection the driver pulled forward, apparently not seeing him, and struck the radio host with her left front fender.  Blogging about the incident, presumably from his hospital bed, Mr. Sagal described what happened upon impact, "I spun up in the air, came down on my back on the ground, possibly hitting the car again on the way down.  I hit my head pretty hard on something, or somethings, but I was wearing my helmet and it cracked instead of me."  Witnesses called 911 and he was taken via ambulance to a nearby hospital.

This matter was reported by TribLocal and on the Spoke 'N Word blog.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lawsuit Alleges That Chicago Police Tried to Protect Influential Chicagoan After Striking Bicyclist In Road Rage Incident

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court arising from a July, 2009 road rage incident involving a Chicago bicyclist and an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, Matthew Pritzker, in the city's Old Town neighborhood.  The complaint alleges that Mr. Pritzker is guilty of assault and battery, negligence and willful and wanton misconduct arising from the incident which took place near North Avenue and Segwick.  The complaint also alleges that several Chicago police officers who responded to the scene and/or became involved in the case attempted to protect Mr. Pritzker "because of his political connections and family influence," thereby depriving the bicyclist of his rights.

The complaint alleges that as the cyclist rode near the intersection, Mr. Pritzker, "driving an SUV with a vanity plate of 'P'," nearly struck him.  Shortly afterward the bicyclist rapped on the SUV to alert of driver of what had just happened.  At that point, Mr. Pritzker allegedly became angry and tried to run the biker off the road before fleeing the scene.  According to the complaint, police officers captured Mr. Pritzker shortly thereafter but after speaking with him, blamed the cyclist for the incident.  The complaint alleges that witnesses to the event were urged by police to change statements that had initially been unfavorable to Mr. Pritzker.  "One or more of the Chicago Police Defendants stated that Plaintiff 'deserved what he got'."  Read the full complaint by clicking here.

This story was reported by Time Out Chicago.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Police Looking For Motorist That Struck And Killed Northwest Suburban Bicyclist

Police are looking for a vehicle, possibly a Chevrolet, with front end damage that struck and killed a bicyclist in Stone Park, Illinois last night.  The victim, Marina Gonzalez, 47, was riding her bicycle not far from her home near the 1800 block of Mannheim Road in the northwest suburb.  The motorist fled the scene following the incident.  Anyone with information about the driver is urged to contact the police department at 708.450.3215.

No details about how the accident happened have been reported.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taxi Collides With Bicyclist Riding Home From Work On Chicago's Near Northside

A Chicago taxi caused a serious collision with a bicyclist when the driver made an unsignaled left in front of the rider at the intersection of North Street Street and East Ontario Street on July 22nd.  The incident occurred just after 11:00 p.m. as the cyclist was riding home from work at a Loop area restaurant.  The bicycle was equipped with front and rear lights which were on at the time of the collision.  Our law firm has been retained to represent the bicyclist against the driver and the cab company that employed him.

Prior to the incident, our client was riding north bound along the right side of North State Street.  As he approached the intersection with Ontario the light controlling north/south traffic was green.  He intended to proceed straight.  As he did, a taxi cab that had stopped along the right hand curb of State Street pulled into the bicyclist's lane, designated for traffic proceeding straight north.  From that lane -- forgoing the left turn lane  present there -- with the bicycle close behind him, the driver suddenly, without signaling, attempted to make a left onto west bound Ontario.  The cyclist took evasive action, turning his bike to the left and skidding, but was unable to avoid the collision.  He was propelled off his bike and onto the hood of the taxi which then slammed on its brakes.  The driver's sudden braking threw the cyclist off the hood and into the road, his face, elbows and knees absorbing all of the impact.  A City of Chicago ambulance arrived quickly to transport him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was treated for serious facial lacerations and contusions, a possible head injury and swelling in his knee.

Our client continues to recover from his injuries.  Our firm, as always, intends to pursue this matter very aggressively. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Video Demonstrates Importance of Riding With A Light At Night

The majority of bicycles sold in Chicago are not legal to ride at night.  Unless a bike is equipped with a light you may not ride it at night.  By my observation, very few bikes sold in the city come with a light.  Reflectors are not enough, and having them does not place the rider in compliance with the law.  Specifically, Chicago Municipal Code requires bicycles to have a white light on the front that can be seen from at least 500 feet.  On the back a red light or reflector is required.  Recently, the City of Chicago created a good (though slightly weird) video that demonstrates why it is so important to ride with a light at night:

Before you leave the bike store with your new ride, buy a light.  If you don't have a light on your current ride, get one.  Hell, go ahead and buy two, one for the front and one for the back.  If you don't know what kind of light to buy here's a suggestion.

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