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Driver Who Injured Cyclist in Logan Square Blames Sun in His Eyes

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 6.48.54 PM
The crash site from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View. Zebra-stripe crosswalks have been added at this intersection since this photo was taken.

It’s every bike rider’s nightmare. You legally proceed through an intersection with the green light, only to have a careless driver run into you while making a left turn, a phenomenon known as the “left hook.”

That’s what happened to a female cyclist in Logan Square this morning. According to Officer Thomas Sweeney from Police News Affairs, the 45-year-old woman was riding northwest on Milwaukee Avenue at 8:50 a.m. When she reached Fullerton Avenue, she entered the intersection on a green. At that point, a 26-year-old man heading southeast in a Chevy Cavalier made a left turn from Milwaukee to head east on Fullerton, striking the cyclist.

A nearby resident who asked not to be named told me he was at the scene when the crash occurred. He said the woman was thrown from her bike and landed in the street in front of a 7-11.

The resident said the woman was briefly unconscious, and he suspected she suffered a broken leg and possibly a broken rib, judging from her labored breathing. He dialed 911 and administered first aid. According to Sweeney, the cyclist, whose name has not been released, was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. We wish her a fast recovery.

The resident told me that the motorist sped east on Fullerton, and that no one identified himself as the driver to the resident or police while he was on the scene. However, Sweeney said the driver did remain at the crash site and was ticketed for failing to yield while making a left turn.

According to a police source, the driver claimed he didn’t see the cyclist because he was blinded by the sun. However, if sunlight in your eyes prevents you from seeing oncoming traffic, perhaps you should be using your car visor or sunglasses, or driving slower, or not driving at all.

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