Jezniah Smith, 34, Fatally Struck While Biking in Humboldt Park

Photo: Sean Williams
Photo: Sean Williams

Last night a car driver struck and killed 34-year-old Jezniah Smith as he rode his bike in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The case appears to be the first bike fatality of 2017.

At about 10:40 p.m. Smith was riding west on Division Street when he was struck by the driver of a Chevy Cruze car who was heading northbound on Sacramento, according to Jose Estrada from Police News Affairs. The victim was taken to Stroger Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Estrada said. Smith’s identity was not immediately released to to the need to notify family members, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

As of midnight on Wednesday, no citations had been issued to the driver, a 36-year-old man who stayed at the scene, Estrada said. Major Accidents is investigating.

According to residents of a building next to the crash site, Smith was riding a hybrid bike, and may have been wearing an orange safety vest. Jonathan Loïc Rogers, a bike courier who stopped at the crash site at about 11:15 p.m., before the victim had been taken to the hospital, said the streets were very icy when he arrived at the scene.

Ghost Bikes Chicago will install a white-painted bicycle at the site as a memorial to the fallen cyclist if Smith’s family grants permission, according to member Kristen Green.

Update 1/12/17, 1:20 PM: The victim has been identified, but his identity has not been released pending notification of kin, according to the medical examiner’s office. 

Correction 1/12/17, 11:00 PM: Statements about the victim’s clothing and the road conditions were previously misattributed to Sean Williams, one of the nearby residents. The article has been edited accordingly. I apologize for the error.

Update 1/13/17, 8:00 AM: The victim has been identified as Jezniah Smith, 34. The post has been updated.

Update 1/13/17 12:15 PM: According to Police News Affairs, the driver has still not been cited. It is believed that the motorist had a green light.

Fatality Tracker: 2017 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 2 (one was a hit-and-run crash)
Bicyclist: 1

  • Obesa Adipose

    I left a friends house on foot at Claremont and Potomac a little after 10pm last night and the streets/sidewalks were wet but not ‘icy’ – not in the least.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Looking over messages I received from witnesses, I saw that I misattributed the info about the icy pavement to Sean Williams, one of the residents. The person who said the pavement was icy was Jonathan Loïc Rogers, who arrived at the crash site around 11:15. I’ve edited the article to reflect this. It’s not clear whether the street was icy at the time of the crash.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    No more is known about the situation / conditions / factors of this crash? What direction was the automobile traveling and on what street? What kind of crash was it? Etc?

  • johnaustingreenfield

    As stated in the post, the driver was traveling northbound (on Sacramento) and the cyclist was riding westbound, and the conditions may have been icy at the time of the crash. I’ll check in with the CPD and see if they have any updates.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Still no citations. The News Affairs officer I spoke to said it’s believed that the driver had a green light.