Hit-and-Run Driver Killed Jesse Rodriguez, 67, Near North Shore Channel Trail

The crash site, looking east. Image: Google Street View
The crash site, looking east. Image: Google Street View

Update 9/25/18: CBS Chicago reports that a 15-year-old boy turned himself in Monday, admitting to being the driver from the crash. The teen has been charged with felony counts of reckless homicide, failure to report a crash, and leaving the scene of a crash.

A hit-and-run-driver struck and killed a 67-year-old Jesse Rodriguez on a bike Sunday afternoon near the North Shore Channel Trail’s crossing of Devon Avenue, in the Pulaski Park neighborhood. It was the 6th deadly bike collision in Chicago this year.

At about 5:20 p.m. Rodriguez was standing at the southeast corner of Devon and McCormick when the eastbound driver of a silver-colored Dodge Charger struck him, according to Police News Affairs. After impact the motorist fled east on on Devon.

The vehicle from the crash. Image: CPD
The vehicle from the crash. Image: CPD

Rodriguez, who lived in Rogers Park, was taken to Saint Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a Sun-Times report.

Police have released a photo of the vehicle showing extensive front-end damage. Its Illinois license plate number is AL53664. As of this morning, no one was in custody.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.44.03 PM
The cyclist was struck at the southeast corner of the intersection, near the North Shore Channel Trail (solid green line.) Image: Google Maps

ABC News footage of police at the crash site indicates that after the impact the victim lay near the west side of the Devon bridge over the North Shore Channel, which is near the North Shore Channel Trail. The trail intersects Devon about 50 feet east of McCormick Boulevard. Cyclists are supposed to use a crosswalk at McCormick to cross Devon. West of McCormick, the direction the driver was coming from, Devon has six lanes, which encourages speeding by drivers.

With six bike fatalities so far this year, Chicago has already seen more deaths that the full-year average for 2012-2016 of 5.8 fatalities, according to numbers released by the Chicago Department of Transportation at last week’s Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting. The average number of deaths between January 1 and August 30 of those years was only 3.4 deaths. There are still more than three months to go in 2018.

Fatality Tracker: 2018 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 29
Bicyclist: 6

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago streets. The pedestrian count above is based on Chicago Police Department data for January-August 2018 released by the Chicago Department of Transportation, plus media reports for September.

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  • planetshwoop

    My goodness. How horrid. The bike path crossings there are scary.

    My condolences to the family.

  • A very busy crowded congested bottleneck intersection. I have crossed it maybe a few times as a pedestrian but never as a biker. Very perilous. My heart goes out to him and his friends and family.

  • Tooscrapps

    A rounded curb to facilitate quick right turns right to a popular bike/ped crossing. What could go wrong?

  • Toto_ly_Insane

    Anyone notice how many sets of traffic lights are missing their red or green?

  • Chicago Lampoon

    I have similarly stood at that very corner, on my bike, waiting for the light to change, maybe a thousand times over the years, and at first, found this shocking.

    But given all of the bicyclists hit by cars on Devon Ave. in recent years – most of them, hit-and-run, we shouldn’t be overly surprised. Devon is arguably the most unsafe street for cyclists, city wide.

    And it also happens to be a heavily immigrant area, with many of the drivers never having driven before in their countries of origin and afraid to turn themselves into police after committing their crimes – perhaps due to illegal immigration status.

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