Bicyclist Dies After Crash at Central and Addison in Portage Park


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The Central and Addison intersection, from the cyclist’s point of view.

A 33-year-old bicyclist died early this morning from injuries sustained in a crash Monday afternoon in the Portage Park neighborhood, according to Officer Jose Estrada from Police News Affairs.

The cyclist, identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Rafael Ramirez of the 7200 block of West Diversey in Elmwood Park, was riding a GMC Denali road bike northbound on Central Avenue around 2:15 p.m. Monday. Several witnessed reported that Ramirez then attempted to turn left on Addison Street and “sideswiped” the driver of a westbound 1999 Saturn who had the right of way, Estrada said.

The intersection is signalized, with a left-turn lane and left-turn signal on northbound Central. It appears Ramirez was trying to make a left on red. After the collision, the cyclist fell off his bike and suffered a head injury, Estrada said. The motorist stayed at the scene and was not ticketed.

The cyclist was first brought to Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, which is adjacent to the crash site, but was later taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. He died at 2 a.m. this morning. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Fatality Tracker: 2013 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 11 (10 were from hit-and-run crashes, 2 in truck crashes)
Bicyclist: 3

  • Fred

    Helmets save lives!

  • According to Estrada, the crash report did not state whether or not Ramirez was wearing a helmet.

  • highvizguy

    There are a number of cameras at this intersection (it appears). Surely it’s worth examining the footage to make sure that the conclusion that the cyclist was at fault is correct?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not a big helmet fan and choose not to wear one. Perhaps that makes me a looming statistic; however, I can say that I perceive (true or not) that I can see better, hear better, and feel much more in-tune with my surroundings without a helmet than with one. I was at a stop light just yesterday and pulled up next to someone with a helmet on. I commented on the weather and the person couldn’t hear me over road noise and the helmet, but was aware I said something. I said it again, and he still couldn’t hear. He unbuttoned his chin strap and loosened the helmet and then heard what I said. Did not seem hearing impaired with the helmet off his ears.

    Having full access to and comfort with one’s survival-oriented senses has distinct advantages . . . but I note that I acknowledge that will only take one so far. I also have a keen sens of risk management when not wearing a helmet, so that is likely a “survival advantage”, as well.

    Sure, there are arguments about helmet styles, presumably tests to disprove my viewpoint, and all the rest, but none of them can touch how an individual’s processing of sensory information is or is not impeded by wearing a helmet. Even a test that “proves” one can hear, see, and smell just as well with or without a helmet can’t readily measure how the inputs are massaged by a brain that simply rejects the shell.

    It’s a choice, and one informed by a number of variables that safety tests and stats can’t really effectively provide insight into. I don’t need someone to make me “safe” by mandating a helmet, just like I don’t need IDOT to make me “safe” by adding more highway lanes.

    Yes, it is a choice. We’re accountable for our choices and sometimes it can come with a high price. Know the downside and make an informed choice.

  • CL

    I agree. Reading the description, it’s hard to understand how this could happen unless the cyclist didn’t expect anyone to be coming out of the shopping center and didn’t look that way at all.

  • Fred

    1) What kind of helmet was he wearing that it in any way impeded any of his senses. I have worn many different helmets over the years, and not one has ever impaired me in any way. The guy had the wrong helmet on if his did.

    2) I made no judgment nor did I advocate for helmet laws.

  • Anonymous

    Do you wear a seatbelt in a car?

  • uanl87

    A great friend and father he will be missed R.I.P.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but it does not influence my ability to see or hear.

  • Anonymous

    1) idk
    2) No inference of that sort made – just adding perspective.