Driver hits dad and daughter on bike on Leland Greenway, near where Lily Shambrook was killed

The hit-and-run driver's car, a gray Hyundai Sonata sedan with license plate number DC 92373. If you spot the vehicle, you can call 911 or the CPD tip line at 312-745-4521 to report it.
The hit-and-run driver's car, a gray Hyundai Sonata sedan with license plate number DC 92373. If you spot the vehicle, you can call 911 or the CPD tip line at 312-745-4521 to report it.

Yesterday a 17-year-old girl, possibly biking to the first day of Chicago Public School classes, was involved in a collision with a driver at at Addison Street (3600 N.) and Drake Avenue (3600 W.) in the Irving Park community, but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured. Streetsblog looked at some of the factors in why this crash happened. (TLDR: Addison is a four-lane street here with no bike facilities so, understandably, the teen was riding on the sidewalk, where the turning motorist wasn’t expecting her.)

This afternoon there was another bike crash involving a girl on her way home from school with her father in Uptown. Fortunately, no one was hurt. But infuriatingly, the dad suspects the driver, who fled the scene, struck them on purpose.

Lily Shambrook.
Lily Shambrook.

And, frustratingly, today’s crash took place on the Leland Avenue Neighborhood Greenway route, only two blocks east of the site where two truckers caused the tragic death of Lily Shambrook, 3, on June 9 of this year, as the toddler rode on the back of her mother’s bike.

Lily’s case took place on the 1100 block of Leland Avenue (4700 N.) A ComEd truck driver was parked in the eastbound bike lane, forcing the mom to ride in the travel lane, where a Mondelez trucker clipped the bicycle. Lily fell under the wheels and was run over and dragged.

According to Police News Affairs, today’s incident happened at about 2:30 p.m. on the 900 block of west Leland, where the greenway route connects to Eastwood Avenue (4630 N.) via a half-block stretch of alley. A 47-year-old man was biking west on Leland with his eight-year-old daughter when a gray Hyundai Sonata sedan driver approached them from behind. The motorist then struck the back of the bicycle and fled west on Leland. No injuries were reported.

Greg and one of his kids.
Greg and one of his kids.

The father was Greg, a Streetsblog reader who lives in Uptown and works as a content strategist. Both of his two children attend schools in the neighborhood. He tweeted a thread about the ordeal. (I’ve lightly edited the quotes below.)

“Picked up my third grader from school,” Greg tweeted. “We were traveling north on the Leland Greenway (the ‘low-stress’ route) on a section of alleyway that joins the Leland and Eastwood cul-de-sac’s, about to transition West via Leland when we first saw the [driver] that hit us (represented in red.)”

Greg and his daughter biked north in the alley (green arrow) as the sedan driver headed east on Leland to a cul-de-sac.
Greg and his daughter biked north in the alley (green arrow) as the sedan driver headed east on Leland to a cul-de-sac (red arrow.)

Greg wrote that as he and his daughter approached the north east of the alley, the motorist drove quickly east towards the cul-de-sac. Greg turned left on Leland and proceeded west. When he made it to the middle of the block, he noticed a woman standing next to an east-facing car, indicated with a circled star in the sketch he drew, below.

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Greg was on his bike with his daughter heading west on Leland when he saw a woman standing next to an east-facing car (circled star.) Meanwhile, the driver in the gray Sonata had turned around and was behind the bike.

“As we approached the woman near the eastbound car, I heard aggressive honking behind me and the sound of a revving car engine,” Greg wrote. “We were almost side by side with the woman and the east-facing car and so I slowed and moved to the right… coming almost to a stop before I looked backward.”

That’s when Greg saw the gray Sonata, whose driver had slowed down, but not stopped. The sedan driver then rear-ended the bike and pushed it forward a few feet. “I was livid and said some things my daughter has never heard from me,” Greg wrote. “Adrenaline was racing. I fumbled for my phone to take a picture but failed.”

Fortunately, the woman snapped a picture of the Sonata as its driver fled, which she sent to Greg. The Sonata driver’s license plate number DC 92373 is visible in the photo, at the top of this post. She also provided witness testimony to the police.

“The kind Samaritan who assisted with the photo told me the driver was acting aggressive before the collision with my daughter and me.” Greg wrote. “All Chicagoans deserve infrastructure that supports safe travel. In the off chance the driver sees this thread, f— you dude.”

That’s a totally understandable sentiment. And, indeed, protected bike lanes that would make it more difficult for drivers to illegally park in them – or for psychopathic motorists to attack people on bicycles – are needed on Leland.

If you spot the Sonata, you can call 911 or the the CPD tip line at 312-745-4521 to report it.

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