Driver fatally struck Czeslaw Kosma, 78, on his bicycle in Jefferson Park

The 6200 block of West Higgins. Image: Google Maps
The 6200 block of West Higgins. Image: Google Maps

Czeslaw Kosma, 78, fatally struck on his bike Friday afternoon in Jefferson Park, was the eighth cyclist killed on Chicago streets so far this year, the most since 2012.

At about 1:10 PM, Kosma was cycling on the 6200 block of West Higgins Avenue, police said. “A witness related to responding officers that they observed the bicyclist operating erratically [in circles] and veering into traffic,” a police spokesperson told Streetsblog.

According to police, the westbound driver of a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder SUV struck Kosma, who was riding against traffic at the time. The motorist, a 39-year-old woman, then lost control and struck a nearby metal fence.

Kosman was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Results of an autopsy released Saturday found that he died of head injuries and rules that the death was accidental. The senior lived near the crash site.

The driver, who stayed at the scene, was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to prevent a crash, and no proof of insurance.

Chart: CDOT
Four people biking were killed on Chicago streets in 2019 (not shown.) Chart: Chicago Department of Transportation

Chicago has seen an increase in biking during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has tragically correlated with an uptick in cycling fatalities. At eight on-street bike deaths so far this year, our city has already seen more fatalities than any year since 2012, and there are still more than two months left in 2020.

Fatality Tracker: 2020 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets

Pedestrian: 28
Bicyclist: 8

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on media reports and/or preliminary Chicago Police Department data released by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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