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Posts tagged "Fatality Tracker"

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Virginia Murray, 25, Fatally Struck While Riding a Divvy Bike in Avondale

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Looking north on Sacramento at Belmont. Image: Google Maps

A 25-year-old woman was fatally struck by a truck driver this morning while riding a Divvy bike at Belmont Avenue and Sacramento Avenue in Avondale, according to police.

At about 9:00 a.m. the bike rider and the driver of a 2001 Chevrolet flatbed truck were both traveling northbound on Sacramento, according to Officer Kevin Quaid from Police News Affairs. At Belmont, the driver made a right turn to head eastbound, Quaid said. “They collided, causing severe injury to the bicyclist,” the crash report reads.

The cyclist was rushed to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 9:58 a.m. The Cook County medical examiners office has identified the woman as Virginia Murray, 25, of the 1200 block of North Marion Court in Wicker Park.

So far the driver has received no traffic citations or criminal charges, Quaid said. Major Accidents is investigating. According to ABC, there is security camera video of the crash that shows the driver striking Murray. According to ABC, the driver works for a nearby flooring company AB Hardwood Flooring.

This appears to be the second case of a bike-share rider being critically or fatally injured in Chicago. On Sunday, November 22, 2014, at about 2:50 a.m. medical student Travis Persaud was struck by two different drivers while riding a Divvy bike on Lake Shore Drive. He suffered a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder, and was placed in a medically induced coma. Family members believed he had been trying to cross Lake Shore Drive on his way home. Persaud’s current medical condition is unknown.

Nationally, bike-share has had a strong safety record. A study released in March by the Mineta Transportation Institute found that there have been zero fatalities among U.S. systems since the first one debuted in Tulsa in 2007. Murray’s case appears to be the first time a person has been fatally injured while using bike-share in the U.S.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and Divvy provided this statement: “This morning a cyclist was involved in a fatal collision with a truck [driver] on the Northwest Side. Divvy and the City of Chicago express our deepest condolences to the rider’s family and loved ones.” A source confirmed that this was the first fatality involving a Divvy user since the system launched in June 2013. Almost 8 million rides were taken during that time.

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Cyclist’s Tragic Death Highlights the Need to Make Michigan Avenue Safer

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Blaine Klingenberg. Photo: Facebook

I know from personal experience that nothing beats a dip in Lake Michigan after a hard day of bicycle delivery work in hot weather. It appears that on Wednesday evening, bike courier Blaine Klingenberg, 29, was on his way to enjoy that simple pleasure at Oak Street Beach with friends. Tragically, he instead lost his life in a crash with a double-decker tour bus, making him the first bike fatality of 2016.

Yesterday in the late afternoon Klingenberg, who worked at Advanced Messenger Service, posted on Facebook “Who’s down for the lake?”, inviting friends to join him for a cool-off. From the thread, it looks like they decided to head to Oak Street Beach, one of the closest beaches to the Central Business District.

According to authorities, Klingenberg was riding his cargo bike north on Michigan Avenue with a small group of cyclists at around 5:25 p.m. Just south of the underpass to Oak Street Beach, at the intersection of Oak and Michigan, he was involved in a crash with a double-decker tour bus operated by Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co., which was heading west on Oak.

Klingenberg was trapped under the bus and firefighters had to use airbags to lift the vehicle, according to the fire department. He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where has was pronounced dead on arrival.

Advance Messenger owner Bruce Kohn told the Chicago Tribune that Klingenberg had left work about a half hour before the crash. “He was probably the best, nicest bicycle messenger I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I’ve been doing this my entire adult life,” Kohn said. He added Klingenberg was a “cautious” delivery cyclist.

The Chicago Police Department stated that “The victim disregarded the red light at Oak and turned into the bus, causing the fatal collision.” Sadly, but predictably, the comment sections of articles about the crash in the mainstream media quickly filled up with callous remarks blaming Klingenberg for his own death, as well as blanket statements about urban cyclists being reckless and foolish.

However, it’s still not clear how the fatal crash went down. While some witnesses did say Klingenberg rode quickly through a red light, others stated that the bus driver also had a red light, because southbound traffic from Inner Lake Shore Drive had a left-turn signal at the time, the Tribune reported. Major Accidents is investigating the case.

It would be great if online commenters would show some basic humanity towards Klingenberg and his loved ones, instead of rushing to blame the victim. It may turn out to be the case that the cyclist’s actions contributed to his death. However, it must also be pointed out that this is the second time in seven months that a Chicago Trolley bus driver has fatally struck a vulnerable road user on Michigan Avenue.

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Intersection Improvements Needed at Site Where Samyra Lee, 7, Was Killed

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Samyra Lee. Photo: Nesia Lee

Last month the driver of a tractor towing mowing equipment struck and killed seven-year-old Samyra Lee as she crossed an Englewood Street while holding hands with her mother. Changes to the intersection are needed to stop another tragic incident like this from occuring again.

On the morning of Friday, May 27, at around 7:45 a.m., Samyra was walking to Providence Englewood Charter, where she attended first grade, with her mother Julicia Lee when they attempted to cross Ashland Avenue at 65th Street, according to police. The stoplight turned red before they made it to the other side, police said.

“The light is so short,’’ Nesia Lee, Samyra’s aunt told the Chicago Tribune. “Before she knew it, [the tractor driver] hit her and she flew and fell. When she got up, my niece was down the street … just bleeding so bad.”

Samyra was transported to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Julicia, 24, received hip injuries in the crash but refused treatment, and instead headed to the children’s hospital to be with her daughter.

The tractor driver was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash. The vehicle is owned by a company with a contract with the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

On Monday, DNAinfo reported that neighbors are calling for safety improvements to the intersection in the wake of the tragedy. Parents whose children attend the charter school, located at 6515 South Ashland, said that pedestrians crossing Ashland at 65th get a very short green signal and often have to “take their chances” to get across.

They added that the intersection should have a crossing guard. A staffer for local alderman Toni Foulkes told DNA crossing guards were stationed at the intersection back when the school was Ralph A. Bunche Elementary School, but that stopped after the school became a charter.

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Driver Who Had Been Drinking Fatally Strikes Man, Flees the Scene

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The intersection of 79th, Stony Island, and South Chicago, from the driver’s viewpoint. Image: Google Street View.

A motorist is facing reckless homicide charges after she struck and killed a 51-year-old man last month in the South Side’s Avalon Park neighborhood while driving as much as 50 mph, and then fled the scene.

Around 11:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, the male pedestrian was crossing in a crosswalk in the 7900 block of South Stony Island Avenue, police said. The Active Transportation Alliance has identified the intersection of 79th, Stony Island, and South Chicago Avenue as one of the most dangerous in the city.

Alicia Johnson, 22, was driving south on Stony Island in a red Chevrolet Impala when she struck the victim and kept driving, according to police officers who were in a squad car at the intersection, waiting to turn left on the green light. The crash was recorded on their dashcam, according to prosecutors at a hearing on Tuesday of last week.

The victim was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. As of early last week, his name had not been released pending notification of kin.

Using footage from a red light camera at the intersection, police were able to get Johnson’s license plate number and tracker her down at her home on the 9700 block of South Avalon Avenue at about 11:30 p.m., according to prosecutors. There they found the car with a cracked windshield and front–end damage.

After police arrested her Johnson made a videotaped statement that she drank a “cup of Hennessy” prior to the collision, and that she was doing 45-50 mph when she struck the man, prosecutors said.

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Driver Who Fatally Struck Woman on Southwest Side Allegedly Fled at 80 mph

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Guadalupe Chavez. Photo: GoFundMe

Reckless homicide and DUI charges have been filed against a driver who allegedly killed a woman and injured a man last weekend in the Vittum Park neighborhood near Midway Airport.

At a hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said that about 10:45 p.m. Saturday, Cicero resident Guadalupe Chavez, 42, and a 39-year-old man had parked on the south side of Archer Avenue near Lavergne Avenue, about three blocks north of the airport, the Chicago Tribune reported. As they walked north across the four-lane street, they stopped in the middle of the road to wait for a westbound bus to pass. However, the bus driver slowed down to let them cross.

Brazel had been following the bus in the same lane in his red Jeep Patriot, driving at least 45 mph in the 30 mph zone, prosecutors said. When the bus slowed down, he attempted to pass on the right, hitting the two pedestrians as they proceeded across the street. The male victim was struck in the leg, while Chavez was thrown into the air.

According to prosecutors, witnesses said Brazel did not hit his brakes during the crash and drove away at a high speed. A witness called police with the vehicle’s description and plate number and then followed Brazel through side streets and alleys as the fleeing man drove at up to 80 mph in an apparent effort to evade the witness.

The witness eventually located the Jeep parked near 59th Street and Neenah Avenue with front-end damage and a missing mirror, which was left at the crash site, according to prosecutors. Police apprehended Brazel as he was walking near 58th Street and Rutherford Avenue.

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Marquette Park Man Dies 2 Weeks After Hit-and-Run Driver Struck Him

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The 3000 block of West 71st. Image: Google Street View

Julian Guerra, of the 7100 block of South Mozart in Marquette Park, died on Saturday, after being struck by a hit-and-run motorist two weeks prior.

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Surveillance photo of the driver’s vehicle. Image: CPD

On Saturday, March 12, at 6:03 p.m., Guerra was walking southbound across the 3000 block of West 71st, near his home, when the driver struck him, according to authorities. The motorist then fled west on 71st.

Guerra was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, authorities said. He was pronounced dead there at 1:51 a.m. last Sunday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police are seeking a gray or silver car, which may be a Pontiac. As of Monday, they had not apprehended a suspect. Those with information about the crash are asked to call Major Accidents at 312-745-4521.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 10 (five were hit-and-run crashes)

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Police Searching for Driver Who Killed Senior in Chicago Lawn 2 Months Ago

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The 6400 block of South Kedzie, looking south. Image: Google Street View

The Chicago Police Department hasn’t yet apprehended the driver who fatally struck a 73-year-old woman in January and fled the scene.

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Still from video footage of the vehicle.

On Tuesday, January 19, at 2:08 p.m., Grazina Siaciuliene, 73, of Poland, was struck by the driver of a minivan on the 6400 block of South Kedzie in Chicago Lawn, the Sun-Times reported yesterday. The victim was transported to Mount Sinai Hospitalm, where she was pronounced dead at 7:10 p.m. the next day, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The police are seeking a light-colored, possibly tan, 1999-03 Chrysler Town and Country, which was driven by the hit-and-run motorist. The minivan may have damage to the passenger-side headlight and upper passenger-side windshield, police said Tuesday.

Although a photo of the vehicle was released soon after the crash, the police sent out a new bulletin this week. Those with information about the crash can call Major Accidents at 312-745-4521.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 9 (four were hit-and-run crashes)

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Senior Struck Nearly Two Months Ago by Hit-and-Run Driver Has Died

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The 4000 block of West Congress. Image: Google Street View

An 80-year-old man died early last Thursday from injuries sustained almost two months ago, when he was struck by a motorist who fled the scene.

On Monday, January 18, at 8:24 a.m., Jessie Tanner was struck on the 4000 block of West Congress in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, according to authorities. The driver left the crash scene, and the vehicle was later found abandoned on the 1800 block of South Karlov, police said.

Tanner, who lived on the same block where the crash occurred, was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, according to the police. He was eventually transferred to RML Specialty Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:50 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found that he died from complications from his crash injuries, the medical examiner’s office said.

The motorist has not yet been apprehended, according to the police.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 8 (three were hit-and-run crashes)

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Driver Fatally Strikes 45-Year-Old Woman in Avalon Park

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The 8100 block of South Stony Island from the driver’s perspective. Image: Google Street View

A 45-year-old woman was struck and killed Tuesday night while walking across Stony Island Avenue in the 8100 block of South Stony Island in the Avalon Park neighborhood.

At around 8:15 p.m., the woman was crossing the southbound lanes of Stony Island when she was hit by a southbound motorist, according to Officer Hector Alfaro from Police News Affairs. The victim was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was later pronounced dead, Alfaro said. The identity of the woman has not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin.

The driver, a 46-year-old male, was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in the roadway, as well as failure to exercise due care to a pedestrian in the roadway, according to Alfaro. Major Accidents is investigating.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 7 (two were hit-and-run crashes)

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Hit-and-Run SUV Driver Killed 34-Year-Old Man in Avondale

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The crash site. Image: Google Street View

Police are searching for the hit-and-run motorist who fatally struck Christopher Sanchez, 34, at the intersection of Belmont and Milwaukee early Sunday morning.

At about 5:20 a.m. on Sunday, Sanchez was crossing Milwaukee on foot when the driver of a northwest-bound white Ford SUV struck him, police said. The motorist then fled northwest on Milwaukee, according to police.

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Christopher Sanchez

Sanchez was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital Center in critical condition, police said. He was pronounced dead that morning, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police are currently searching for the driver, according to Officer José Estrada from News Affairs. They hope to recover footage of the crash from security cameras installed on nearby businesses. People with information about the crash are asked to call Major Accidents at 312-745-4521.

About 36 relatives and friends of the victim held a candlelight vigil at the crash site on Monday evening, the Tribune reported. Sanchez, an auto mechanic, lived with his father about a mile east of the crash site on the 3100 block of North Sawyer. The two men had been planning to visit the grave of Sanchez’s mother, who died from cancer last March.

Relatives noted that Sanchez has been suffering from insomnia since his mother’s death, and was in the habit of going for long walks late at night, which may explain why he was out early in the morning.

“He was hardworking, smart, respectful and family-oriented,” Sanchez’s brother José Sanchez said. “He was a great guy. Everyone who knew him would say he was a great guy.”

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 6 (two were hit-and-run crashes)