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Bike Crashes

Pickup driver fatally struck bicycle rider Allan Beyderman, 41, on bike-hostile stretch of Golf Road near Des Plaines River Trail

The lack of bike facilities on the 4-lane highway, and the driver's high-front-end pickup truck, were likely factors in the crash.

Golf Road east of the Union Pacific railroad overpass, looking west. Image: Google Maps

Tragically, early Tuesday morning the driver of a pickup with a high front end fatally struck Allan Beyderman, 41, who was riding a bike in northwest-suburban Des Plaines. Beyderman was riding on four-lane Golf Road towards the Des Plaines River Trail, in an area with no nearby bike-friendly east-west connecting routes to the trail.

According to the Des Plaines police department, on Tuesday, February 13 at around 6:15 AM, Beyderman was cycling east in curbside mixed-traffic lane of the 1900 block of Golf Road, which has no shoulders. The Journal & Topics reported that he was east of a Union Pacific railroad overpass, between River and East River roads, where several traffic crashes have happened.

The approximate location where the driver struck Beyderman, near the Des Plaines River Trail. Image: Google Maps

According to police, the motorist, another 41-year-old man, was driving a Ford F-250 Super Duty. This model is a heavy-duty pickup truck with a high front end that is likely to make a struck bicycle rider or pedestrian go under the wheels instead of over the hood. It also makes it more difficult for the driver to see vulnerable road users and avoid hitting them.

A Ford F-250 Super Duty. Photo: Wikipedia

According to police, the driver was also heading east in the inside lane. The traffic crash report states that he "attempted to change lanes to get around slowing traffic when he struck [Beyderman] with the front, passenger side of his vehicle.

The report victim-blames the bike rider, stating, "It is of note, that [Beyderman] was not wearing any contrasting clothing and a set of headphones was found on scene," suggesting that these things contributed to the driver striking him. Wearing non-"contrasting" clothing and headphones while bicycling is legal, and neither is dangerous, provided that you use bike lights when it's dark out, and keep the audio to a level where you can hear traffic noises.

While Des Plaines Fire Department personnel tried to save Beyderman, he was pronounced dead at 6:56 a.m. at Lutheran General Hospital hospital in Park Ridge, police said. According to the crash report, he lived about five miles from the collision site in Mount Prospect.

The driver, who lives in Des Plaines, was not cited, police said.

Bike and pedestrian injury attorney Michael Keating (a Streetsblog Chicago sponsor) noted that the crash site is near the north-south Des Plaines River Trail, but Golf is unsafe to bike on.

The nearest bikeable east-west street is Central Road, a two-lane street with shoulders that have bike symbols painted on them, about a mile north of Golf.

Relatively bike-friendly Central Road, about a mile north of the crash site, looking east. Image: Google Maps

We don't know whether or not Allan Beyderman was heading to the Des Plaines River Trail. But if there were some kind of bike accommodations on Golf, perhaps he would still be alive.

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