Lisa Kuivinen, 20, Struck and Killed While Biking on Milwaukee Avenue

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Lisa Kuivinen. Photo: Facebook

We have been notified that Lisa Kuivinen identified as non-binary and preferred gender-neutral pronouns. The post has been edited accordingly.

Lisa Kuivinen, a 20-year-old art student, was fatally struck by the driver of an 18-wheel flatbed truck this morning while cycling on Milwaukee Avenue in West Town.

At about 8:15 a.m. Lisa was riding on the 800 block North Milwaukee, according to Officer Laura Amezaga from Police News Affairs. A report from DNAinfo indicates that the cyclist was heading southeast towards downtown. The collision occurred just southeast of Milwaukee’s Kennedy Expressway overpass.

Near the construction site for a transit-oriented development, Lisa was struck by a flatbed truck driver. Lisa was taken to Northwestern Hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead at the hospital, Amezaga said.

The driver, identified by police as 37-year-old Antonio Navarro from northwest-suburban Algonquin, stayed on the scene, according to Amezaga. Navarro has been ticketed for driving in a bike lane and failure to take due care for a bicyclist in the roadway, according to Police News Affairs. A traffic court hearing is scheduled for September 15 at 9 a.m.

DNAinfo reports that the truck is registered with Illinois Brick Co. and a person from the company declined to comment.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified Lisa as a resident of 3700 block of Wren Lane, Rolling Meadows. Lisa’s Facebook profile indicates that the cyclist was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an interest in animation.

The crash took place on a stretch of Milwaukee Avenue with protected bike lanes, including stretches where the bike lane is painted green and short segments protected by concrete curbs. However it appears the section of bike lane Lisa was riding on was not protected by curbs, parking, or flexible posts.

Moreover, the southeast-bound bike lane is blocked by fencing for the TOD construction site, forcing cyclists to merge into the travel lane. DNA reports that Lisa was approaching the fence when the driver struck the cyclist.

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Flowers have been left by crash site. Photo: John Greenfield

A photo posted on ABC7 shows what appears to be a white Specialized Allez road bike underneath the cab of the truck, according to a source.

According to DNA, a man named Brandon who was walking to work at the time witnessed the aftermath of the crash and ran to the cyclist. “[Lisa] was in really bad shape and I stood close to [them] and did not want to move [them] in case anything was broken,” he told DNA. “I kept saying, ‘Hold on, they are coming, they are coming.’ I’m terribly saddened by this but I’m glad [Lisa] wasn’t alone in [their] last moments.”

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has issued the following statement:

We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic loss of a member of the SAIC family. Lisa Kuivinen was an undergraduate student studying in our BFA program. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Lisa’s family and friends during this very difficult time, and we have made counseling services available to students, faculty and staff.

Lisa was the third cyclist to be fatally struck in Chicago this year, following bike courier Blaine Klingenberg on June 15 and Divvy rider Virginia Murray on July 1. Like Lisa, Murray was struck by a flatbed truck driver.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 14 (seven were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 3

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