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Posts tagged "Fatality Tracker"

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Driver Fatally Struck 60-Year-Old Man Who Was Biking in West Humboldt Park

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The intersection of LeMoyne and Kolin from the driver’s perspective. Image: Google Street View

A driver fatally struck a Portage Park man who was riding a bike in West Humboldt Park Monday morning.

At around 9:50 a.m., Enrique Zamora, 60, was cycling east on the 4300 block of West LeMoyne Street, according to Office Nicole Trainor from Police News Affairs. The block is just east of a shopping center with a grocery store and a home improvement store.

When Zamora reached the intersection of LeMoyne and Kolin Avenue, he was struck by Sam Garduez, 44, who was driving southbound on Kolin, Trainor said. Zamora, who lived on the 4800 block of West Addison, was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:49 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Garduez, who was uninjured, was cited for failure to exercise due care, Trainor said. Major accidents is investigating.


This chart from an early September Mayor’s Bicycling Advisory Council Meeting shows that the number of bike fatalities had been low as of August, compared to recent years.

Zamora was the 6th person to die following a bike crash in Chicago in 2015. There were only two bike-related deaths between January and August of this year, an unusually low number. However, there were three other bike fatalities in September and October. Six cycling fatalities is a roughly average number for this time of year, compared to the previous six years.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 28 (11 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 6 (two were hit-and-run crashes)

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Man Dies Nine Days After Being Struck on a Bike in South Shore

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The 2300 block of East 70th Street in South Shore. Image: Google Street View

South Shore resident Jonathan Phillips, 47, died nine days after being struck by a driver while bicycling near his home.

On Wednesday, October 7, Phillips was riding on the 2300 block of East 70th Street, where he resides, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. After a driver struck him, he was transported to Jackson Park Hospital, where he died on Friday, October 16. An autopsy conducted the next day found the cause of Phillips’ death to be pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis as a result of blunt trauma to his right lower leg.

Police News Affairs did not have immediate information about the collision. I have made a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the crash report and will update this post if the police provide one.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 28 (11 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 5 (two were hit-and-run crashes)

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Motorcyclist Fatally Struck Woman in Queen’s Landing Crosswalk

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The crash site from the motorcyclist’s perspective. Image: Google Street View

A motorcyclist has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving after he allegedly ran a red light on Lake Shore Drive, killing a woman who was walking in the crosswalk by Buckingham Fountain.

On Monday, October 19, at around 10:45 p.m., Katrin Kutscheidt, 25, a visitor from Germany, and her male partner, 40, were part of a group of pedestrians crossing the drive in the mid-block crosswalk, which has its own stoplight, according to police. Charles Lyons, 20, was speeding and driving between cars on his motorcycle when he blew the stoplight, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Lyons struck the couple, and the impact from the crash threw them 30 to 40 feet, according to the Tribune. Kutscheidt was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The male victim was taken to Northwestern Hospital in serious condition. As of Saturday, the man was in critical condition with major internal injuries and brain bleeding, the Tribune reported. The motorcyclist was thrown from his vehicle and suffered spinal cord injuries.

At a hearing on Saturday, Lyon, of the 800 block of West George Street was ordered held in lieu of $300,000 bail, the Tribune reported. According to prosecutors, he did not have a valid license and was speeding at 76 mph when he struck the couple.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 28 (11 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 4 (two were hit-and-run crashes)

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Driver Fatally Strikes Man on Expressway, Flees With Body on Windshield

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The westbound lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway, near the Western Avenue off-ramp. Image: Google Street View

An allegedly drunk driver struck and killed a man who was crossing a Chicago expressway on foot, and then drove off with the victim’s body lying on the windshield, according to prosecutors. Adrian Harris, 33, of the 5400 block of West Van Buren Street, is charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI causing death.

Shortly before 3:50 a.m. last Saturday, Jess Rodriguez, 41, had been driving west on the Eisenhower Expressway when he got in an altercation with his girlfriend, DNAinfo reported. The woman exited the vehicle near the Western Avenue off-ramp and began walking on the left shoulder of the highway. Rodriguez parked on the right shoulder and then tried to cross to the other side on foot, prosecutors said.

Harris was driving west on the expressway when he came upon vehicles that had slowed to let Rodriguez pass, according to prosecutors. Harris veered around a van and then struck Rodriguez.

Rodriguez went over the hood of the car and landed on the rear windshield, prosecutors said. The impact from the crash killed him. Harris initially pulled over on the shoulder of the expressway but soon fled with the victim’s body lying on the trunk.

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Bicyclist Died From Injuries Sustained in Crash at Dangerous Intersection

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

John Jones, 48, died last Thursday, about a week after he was struck on his bicycle at the dangerous intersection of 79th Street, Stony Island Avenue, and South Chicago Avenue.

On Tuesday, September 15, at about 7:20 p.m., Jones was bicycling southeast on the 7900 block of South Chicago when he came to the six-way intersection, according to Police News Affairs. The junction is complicated by the presence of overhead entrance and exit ramps for the Chicago Skyway, and it has a high pedestrian crash rate.

Alexa Lenior, 17, was driving south on Stony Island when she struck Jones, News Affairs said. Lenior told later police that she had a green light.

Jones was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died from his injuries last Thursday at 2:43 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner. Lenior sustained minor injuries to her right arm and was transported to Jackson Park Hospital for treatment, News Affairs said.

Lenior was cited for failure to reduce speed to prevent a crash, according to News Affairs. Poor sight lines due to the presence of the ramp support pillars may have also been a factor in the driver not stopping in time. Lenior is due in Traffic Court on October 27.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 26 (10 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 4 (two were hit-and-run crashes)

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Cyclist Who Died After Avondale Crash Was the First Bike Fatality in 4 Months

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The 3400 block of North Kedzie, where cyclist Robert Lewis was struck on September 2. He died from his injuries on Friday. Image: Google Street View

At last week’s Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, Chicago Department of Transportation deputy commissioner Luann Hamilton discussed the fact that there were no fatal bike crashes in the city between May and August of this year. “It’s great, especially because we just got through the summer cycling season window, with more cyclists out than ever,” she said.

According to Illinois Department of Transportation records, there were an average of three bike fatalities in Chicago from 2009 to 2013 during those four months. 2014 was a particularly bad year, with six cyclists struck and killed during those months, and eight fatalities altogether.

The total for all of 2015 so far is also low, with only two bike-related deaths between January and August, compared to an average of 3.6 fatalities by this time from 2009 and 2013, Hamilton said. “We think that the work we’re doing on encouraging safer cycling and encouraging people to get out and enjoy bicycling is contributing to our good performance, but I think the most important thing is safety in numbers.” Data shows that, as the number of people biking in a city increases, drivers get better at sharing the road with cyclists, and bike fatality rates drop, she said.

Assistant CDOT commissioner Sean Wiedel reported that Divvy use has increased this year with the expansion of the system from 300 to 475 stations. Last year, 10-12,000 bike-share trips was typical on a busy summer day, but this year 14-16,000 trips is the norm on a busy day.

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Tip on Crowdfunding Site Led to Arrest of Driver Who Killed Davean Smith

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Davean Smith with her son Bishop Gregory Stapleton.

A suburban man who fatally struck Davean Smith, 48, in Chicago’s Longwood Manoe neighborhood last month, then left the scene, turned himself in after a friend contacted the victim’s family via a crowdfunding site. The driver, Thomas Hicks, has been charged with failure to report a crash resulting in a death.

On Wednesday, August 19, at around 11:30 p.m., Davean Smith was walking in the street on the 9500 block of South Vincennes Avenue on her way to visit a friend, according to authorities. Hicks, a 26-year old Glenwood resident, struck her with his Nissan and continued driving, police said.

Smith was found by a passer-by who notified the police. She was pronounced dead at 12:43 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The following day, Hicks’ roommate noticed that the car had a cracked windshield, damage to the front bumper and passenger-side wheel well, and a broken headlight, according to prosecutors. Hicks soon took the car to be repaired, prosecutors said.

According to a WGN report, Smith’s son Bishop Gregory Stapleton and his family set up a crowdfunding page to help defray funeral expenses. A male friend of Hicks used the website to contact Gregory, writing “My dreams and my heart ain’t been right and I thought maybe you and your people would like to know the truth about things.”

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66-Year-Old Man Was Second Bystander Killed After a Police Chase This Year


Willie Owens, right.

Last week, a high-speed police chase in Grand Crossing ended in a multi-car crash that killed a 66-year-old man and injured several other people. It was the second time an innocent bystander had been killed this year by a suspect evading fleeing police officers.

Last Monday evening, police pulled over Paul Forbes, 26, after he ran a stop sign near 75th Street and Maryland Avenue, according to prosecutors. After an officer exited her car, Forbes sped off in his Pontiac, fleeing west on 75th. He ran a light at St. Lawrence Avenue, and then another at King Drive, where he nearly struck a CTA bus that was traveling north, and then collided with a southbound Saturn car.

As a result of the right-angle crash, the Saturn careened into a fence, prosecutors said. Its driver, a 71-year-old woman, suffered multiple vertebrae and ribcage fractures, prosecutors said. Her mother, an 88-year-old woman who was in the passenger seat, suffered spinal fractures and was paralyzed.

After striking the Saturn, Forbes crashed his car into a Chevrolet pickup truck owned by Willie Owens, 66, who was standing in front of the vehicle changing the battery, according to prosecutors. The collision amputated Owens’ leg, and he was thrown 15 feet. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

After Forbes crashed into the pickup, it collided with a Chevrolet sedan, prosecutors said. The two occupants were taken to Jackson Park Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, treated and released.

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Senior Fatally Struck on Halsted Street in Boystown

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The 3300 block of North Halsted, from the driver’s perspective. Image: Google Maps

An elderly man was struck and killed yesterday afternoon on the 3300 block of North Halsted Street in Lakeview’s Boystown district.

Around 3:15 p.m., a 78-year-old male “unexpectedly crossed in the middle of the street into traffic,” according to Officer José Estrada from Police News Affairs. The man was struck by a southbound driver, Estrada said.

The victim was transported in critical condition to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to Estrada. The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the senior as Chisun Lee, of the 3200 block of North Halsted. An autopsy is pending.

An employee of a nearby Sherwin Williams paint store said the driver stayed on the scene and the vehicle was a van, adding that a stretch Halsted just north of Belmont Street was closed to traffic after the crash. The driver was not cited, Estrada said. Major Accidents is investigating.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 24 (8 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 2 (both were hit-and-run crashes)


Driver Fatally Struck Woman in Wheelchair in an Avondale Parking Lot

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The 3200 block of North Milwaukee. Image: Google Maps

A senior who was struck and killed while in her wheelchair in an Avondale parking lot was recently identified as Maritza Santiago, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Santiago, 71, was in the parking lot on the 3200 block of North Milwaukee on Monday, July 13, at around 2:45 p.m. when an SUV driver fatally struck her, according to authorities. Santiago, who lived on the 4900 block of Monticello, was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and pronounced dead at 5:40 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

The driver, a 59-year-old woman, was ticketed for negligent driving, according to police.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 23 (8 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 2 (both were hit-and-run crashes)