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Male Cyclist, 20, in Critical Condition After Being Doored, Struck, Dragged

5:28 PM CDT on September 6, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 5.24.28 PM
The 5900 block of West Irving Park, looking east. Image: Google Street View

A 20-year-old man is in critical condition after a motorist opened a car door in his path while he was biking in Portage Park, throwing the man into traffic, where the bike rider was then struck and dragged by an SUV driver.

At about 1:40 p.m. this afternoon, the man, whose name has not been released, was biking on the 5900 block of Irving Park Road, near Marmora Avenue and the Patio Theater, according to Office Kevin Quaid from Police News Affairs. According to a report from DNAinfo, witnesses said the man was riding east.

When a motorist in a parked car opened the door without looking, the man struck the door and flew off his bike into traffic, Quaid said. Another driver in an SUV then struck the man and dragged him. Witnesses said it was a small red SUV and than the bike rider was knocked out of his shoes, DNA reported. A posted by Christopher Smith shows the cyclist was on a black fixed gear or single-speed bike with at least one hand brake.

The man was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition, Quaid said. Both drivers stayed at the scene; the motorist in the parked car was ticketed for opening a car door into traffic.

Several Chicago cyclists have been seriously injured or killed in a similar manner in recent memory. In 2008 graphic designer Clinton Miceli, 22, was doored by an SUV driver on the 900 block of north LaSalle. In 2012 attorney Neill Townshend, 32, swerved to avoid being doored near Oak and Wells and was fatally struck by a truck driver.

In 2013 Dustin Valenta, a courier and actor was doored by one driver at 1443 North Milwaukee, then run over by another motorist who fled the scene. The back of his skull, his pelvis, a shoulder blade, and 23 of 24 ribs were fractured, and he suffered a punctured lung and lacerated shoulder. Valenta, 27 at the time, has since made a miraculous recovery, but the second driver was never caught.

Four people were killed while biking in Chicago this summer. Our thoughts are with the injured man in hopes that he will survive his injuries and, like Valenta, make a full recovery.

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