Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Really Happened To Chicago Bicyclist "Rescued" By The Mayor

The Chicago bicyclist who was struck by a turning tanker truck on North Milwaukee Avenue last Tuesday is grateful to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his security staff and the numerous other nearby cyclists who immediately came to her aid.  Today, our law firm was retained by the injured woman to represent her against the driver.

Some media sources covering this story focused primarily on the Mayor's involvement, and were cavalier or dismissive about the bicyclist's injuries and the facts of the crash.  Prior to the collision, the 29 year old female cyclist was riding southeast on Milwaukee Avenue.  She stopped in the clearly marked, dedicated bicycle lane when she reached the red light at intersection with West Ogden.  At that location, there is a right turn lane next to the curb, a four foot wide bike lane and a through lane.  The cyclist waited at the light with the huge truck stopped to her left in the through lane.  There was one cyclist ahead of her at the light.  When the light turned green she proceeded.  The truck driver, apparently not noticing the cyclists next to him, swung his vehicle right onto Ogden.  When he did, the truck's front wheels slammed into the woman.  The rider was thrown to the ground and under the truck.  The driver apparently did not realize what had happened and continued forward.  Numerous nearby cyclists shouted and banged on the truck to get the driver to stop.  Luckily he did before the truck's rear wheels rolled over the downed rider.

The video below was recorded by the dash board camera of a witness traveling in the opposite direction, northwest on Milwaukee. The tanker truck is clearly seen turning right from the through-only lane, its front wheels striking the cyclist in light colored clothing.  The video captures well the enormous amount of bicycle traffic along Milwaukee Avenue at that time of day.

As has been reported, the Mayor was nearby in a coffee shop and came running when he heard the crash. He comforted the woman and brought her to his vehicle, giving her water and a chance to collect herself. Medical personnel arrived quickly to the scene and tended to deep, bloody cuts to her left leg.  Her right shoulder was painful and becoming hard to move.  The Mayor asked a member of his security detail to drive her to the hospital.  She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital right away.  She was diagnosed with a separated right shoulder and a fracture.  The wounds to her left leg were stitched closed and dressed.

Despite media reports to the contrary, Chicago police made a report of the crash.

The injured cyclist is still receiving medical care.  Later this week she will have the stitches removed from her injured leg.  Her right arm is immobilized and painful.  She will follow up with an orthopedic physician.


  1. This type of shit is so screwed up. We need better design, better laws, better awareness and better freight logistics. Having this type of thing happen is so entirely unacceptable...

    But enough blabbering about the shitty state of the world, my heart goes out to the woman and am extremely glad to know she is alive and recovering!

  2. Bike lanes are not the answer, but part of the problem in this case. They teach cyclists a false sense of security.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. a link to the video on youtube


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