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Ghost Bike Installation for Fallen Cyclist Lisa Schalk This Sunday

A photo of Lisa Schalk taken in 1998. Photo courtesy of the Schalk family

A ghost bike memorial installation to honor fallen cyclist Lisa Schalk, 50, is planned for this Sunday, November 18, at 3 p.m. at the crash site at Archer Avenue and Lorel Avenue in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. Meanwhile, Schalk’s family is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and his employer, the Aldi supermarket company.

On Wednesday, November 1, at around 8 a.m., Schalk was biking east on Archer, according to police. John Mitchell, 79, who was traveling north on Lorel, then turned left onto Archer, striking the cyclist. There is an Aldi store at the southwest corner of the intersection with a parking lot entrance on Lorel.

Schalk, who lived three blocks southwest on the 5500 block of West 55th Street, was transported to Advocate Christ Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:43 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Mitchell was charged with failure to exercise due care for a bicyclist in the roadway, police said. His court date is Thursday, December 14, at 11 a.m. at the Daley Center.

Archer and Lorel, from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View
Archer and Lorel, from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View
Archer and Lorel, from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View

Schalk’s family filed the suit against the motorist and Aldi earlier this month, according to their attorney Michael Keating, who specializes in bike cases. (Keating is a Streetsbog Chicago sponsor.) “The information we’ve received from the police indicates that the driver was working for Aldi at the time, cleaning and maintaining parking lots,” Keating says.

The attorney has filed a motion to obtain a protective order that requires Aldi to secure any surveillance camera footage, which a judge granted. “We haven’t yet had an opportunity to determine if any footage exists or review it,” Keating says.

Ghost Bikes Chicago will be installing a white-painted bike donated by West Town Bikes education center at Sunday’s memorial. “All are invited,” the event invitation states. “Please come show support with flowers, hugs, and kind words towards the family, and friends of Lisa who was taken too soon from us all.”

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