May 17, 2011

Oak Park, IL, ‘Ride of Silence’ Remembers Illinois Bicycle Accident Victims

Oak Park and River Forest are teaming up to host a Chicago version of the national Ride of Silence event on May 18th to memorialize those that have been killed in bicycle accidents and promote bicycle safety and awareness. The event will be the first of its type for the Oak Park and River Forest communities. Similar Ride for Silence events have been planned in Evanston, Downers Grove, Joliet, Arlington Heights and some other suburbs. The Ride for Silence was started in Dallas, TX, in 2003 after a bicycle accident fatality. Cyclists reportedly ride in complete silence on a set route. The City of Chicago itself has seen a rise in so called ‘ghost bikes’ – solid white bicycles chained or locked to a post near the site of a fatal bicycle accident.

Oak Park, IL, has a significant cycling population and village officials have been trying to boost the number of bicycle lanes according to Ron Burke of the Active Transportation Alliance. The event is aimed at increasing cyclist awareness in and around the Oak Park, IL, community. Interested bicyclists should meet at 7 p.m. at Lake St. and Oak Park Ave. for the ride which is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding bicycle accidents in and around Chicago or would otherwise like to speak with a Chicago bicycle attorney, please click here.

May 21, 2010

Chicago ‘Ride of Silence’ Honors Victims of Fatal Bicycle Accidents

A downtown Chicago bicycle ride was held in honor of bicycle accident fatalities last Wednesday evening. The bicycle procession, dubbed the ‘ride of silence’, by a group called Active Transportation Alliance. According to their website, Active Transportation Alliance is a Chicagoland organization committed to making bicycling, walking and public transit safe convenient and fun. The procession began at 6:30 p.m. at the Eternal Flame at Daley Plaza. The 10-mile route passed sites of Chicago bicycle crash victims. Those sites were marked with bicycles painted with white paint – or ‘ghost bikes’.

The Chicago ride was part of a global event to raise awareness of bicycle accident victims. All the cyclists wore helmets and used bicycles equipped with headlights as the ride was to continue into the night. All bicyclists also kept their speed under 12 mph and wore one of two armbands: a black armband to symbolize solidarity with victims or a red arm band to signify personal injury. A ‘Ride of Silence’ pin was also available for a one dollar donation.

As the Ride of Silence indicates, urban bicycle accidents are both common and often very serious. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a Chicago area bicycle accident and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

April 27, 2010

Twelve Year Old Chicago Boy Killed in Bicycle-Vehicle Accident

A 12 year old boy was killed last Sunday April 18th when he was struck by a vehicle in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. The vehicle-bicycle accident occurred on the 6300 block of West 60th St. around 8:25 p.m. The accident victim was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk near that location when he was hit by a pickup truck. According to reports, the truck was travelling south on Nargansett Ave. attempting to make a right turn onto 60th street when the boy was hit. The boy was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL. He was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m.

Police issued traffic citations to the truck driver for failure to yield the right of way and negligent driving. The Chicago police Major Accident Investigation Unit is still investigating the tragic bicycle accident.

Children are often the victims of fatal bicycle accidents. About 1/3 of the children hospitalized for bicycle accidents suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While some of these accidents are the result of bicycle operator error, others can stem from negligent driving of a motorist. If you or someone you know has been injured in a Chicago area bicycle accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate the accident and protect your rights. For more information on Illinois bike accidents or to speak with an injury lawyer, please click here.

May 4, 2009

Illinois Motorcyclist killed in Lake Zurich, IL, car-motorcycle accident

A tragic Chicago area car-motorcycle accident resulted in the death of a motorcyclist on Sunday around 5:30 p.m. The accident occurred at the corner of U.S. route 12 and Old McHenry Road in Lake Zurich, IL. According to the Lake County coroner, 56 year-old Anita Zaffke of the 1500 block of Eddy Lane in Lake Zurich, died from chest and abdominal injuries suffered when she was thrown about 200 feet from her motorcycle. She died about an hour after the accident at Advocate Good Shepard Hospital in Barrington, IL.

Zaffke was reportedly stopped at a red light when she was struck from behind by a Chevy Impala. Reports indicate that the unidentified female driver that caused the fatal accident told the police that she was painting her fingernails when she ran the red light striking the motorcyclist. According to Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Scott Morrison, “It appears to be a tragic accident and it appears (Zaffke) did nothing wrong…She (Zaffke) was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and she could not have done anything to avoid it.” The driver has been cited with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The driver may still face additional charges as the accident remains under investigation.

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June 11, 2008

Bicyclist hit by opening car door in Chicago dies of head injury

Clinton Miceli age 22 died of head injuries he received Monday on the north side of Chicago when the driver of a parked SUV opened his door into Miceli’s path.

On Tuesday another bike rider was struck by a CTA bus and injured.

It seems that the streets of Chicago are becoming less and less safe for bike riders as the city is trying to encourage more and more people to bike to work. Gas prices are also adding to the bike traffic, while drivers are more and more distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices.

I would encourage all bike riders to ride defensively and assume that they are not seen by people driving cars. They should also use designated bike lanes when possible and always always wear a helmet.

If the City of Chicago wants to encourage more people to ride their bikes the should be more proactive in developing wider bike lanes, perhaps even eliminating parking lanes and converting them to wide bike lanes on the heaviest bike trafficked roads.

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June 11, 2008

A man riding a bicycle suffered serious head injuries in Chicago

A bicyclist suffered serious head injuries on Lasalle Street in Chicago Monday night when the driver of a parked car opened the door in his path. The bicycle rider was thrown under an on coming car and suffered critical head injuries.

Four bicycle riders have been killed this year riding their bikes on the streets of Chicago.

Several years ago I represented the family of a man who died in a similar accident on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago. He was riding his bike to work when the driver of a parked car opened his door without looking back and pushed him under the wheels of a tractor trailer truck.

The jury held that the driver who opened the car door and the truck driver were each 50% at fault for the death of the bicyclist. The jury awarded a substantial 7 figure verdict which greatly helped the family of the bike rider. Without the jury award the family would have been impoverished. Because of the jury award the children were able to finish school in a good suburban school and the mom was able to be around to help keep them out of trouble. I recently ran into one of the boys and he told me that they are all doing great.

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