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Demetrio Ruiz Macias, 47, killed by hit-and-run driver, was the 9th Chicago bike fatality this year

The 5600 block of South California Avenue, looking south. Image: Google Maps

Demetrio Ruiz Macias, 47, struck on his bike by a hit-and-run driver earlier this month in Gage Park, died from his injuries on Sunday, December 27. He was one of three vulnerable road users killed by motorists who fled the scene within a few blocks of each other this month in the Southwest Side neighborhood. Macias was the ninth cyclist killed on Chicago streets so far this year, more than any other year this decade.

According to the Chicago Police Department, on Saturday, December 19 , at about 10:50 p.m., Macias was cycling on the 5600 block of South California Avenue. A southbound driver struck him and fled in an unknown direction.

Macias, who lived in nearby Chicago Lawn, was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital with a neck injury in critical condition, police said. He died from his injuries last Sunday, and his death was ruled accidental, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. A funeral mass and visitation were held today.

The police did not provide a description or image of the vehicle. Major Accidents is investigating the case.

On Wednesday, December 23 at about 8:10 p.m., another motorist struck and killed Araceli Gutierrez, 48, and her nephew Giovanne Bucio, 12, on the 3100 block of West 55th Street in Gage Park. The two crash sites are roughly a half mile away from each other.

This is the tragic, but natural outcome of depriving us of safe cycling infrastructure and prioritizing vehicle traffic on the Southwest side.

— Neighbors4EJ (@N4EJchicago) December 30, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago has seen a bike boom that has tragically correlated with an increase in cycling deaths. Macias' death represents a grim milestone, with our city seeing a higher on-street cycling death toll this year than any other year in the past decade.

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

Here are the other 2020 on-street Chicago bike fatalities.

A tenth person, Mark Goodman, 56, died after suffering brain injuries in a crash with another cyclist on the Lakefront Trail near Belmont Avenue.

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

Pedestrian: 34
Bicyclist: 9

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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