Bicyclist struck by car in Oak Park

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By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

A female bicyclist is being treated at Loyola Medical Center with serious injuries after colliding with a motor vehicle early this morning.

Oak Park Commander LaDon Reynolds confirmed that police responded to a traffic accident between a car and a bicyclist at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Ridgeland at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12.

Reynolds confirmed that the victim's injuries are serious but do not appear to be life-threatening. He said no arrests or citations had been made in the case.

"We're still investigating," Reynolds said. "But we do have the driver and we're conducting an investigation."

In an email to Wednesday Journal, a witness to the aftermath of the accident said the victim appeared to be unconscious following the collision, and that there were signs of a head injury. The witness also said the victim did not appear to have been wearing a helmet.

Several samaritans provided care and comfort to the victim in the immediate aftermath of the accident as the first police officer arrived on the scene, according to another witness. After first laying completely still on the pavement, the victim tried several times to get up with the civilians trying to keep her still until an ambulance arrived.

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Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 7:08 PM

Problems with sharing the rode with bicycles are a lot of bicycle riders don't like sharing the rode with motorized vehicles. Had a couple of bicyclist remind me of that today, when I made a U turn in the street. Oh my goodness how they hated to stop their bicycles. One even commented on my driving abilities. Bicyclists demand to "Share" the rode, as long as they can drive the way they want.

Nancy Trock T-Renegade Fitness from Oak Park  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 6:42 PM

After that derecho sent a tree through my car, I decided to return to bicycling rather than rent a car. So after one week commuting by bike I took one fall to the street caused by an ignorant motorist (witnessed) and had lots of other instances getting squeezed between traffic and parked car doors opening, potholes and other cyclists who don't follow the rules of the road... So, I will go on sidewalks when safe and pay a ticket if anybody gives a . take care

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 5:52 PM

Dewd, I was wondering why the hell the joggers just started doing this en masse! It's like they are all telepathic or something. Fine, jog on the left. But I will bring it. I am standing my ground. YOU can jog in the middle of the street since you are sooo afraid of the cars at your back, 'mkay?

Another Runner from OP  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 4:07 PM

@Violet: Apparently you'll ride wherever you want. As a runner, I'll be running on the left side of the street (which is where we're supposed to). If you don't like it, I'm sorry that the world doesn't revolve around you. (Wait, sorry, I know that must have come as a shock....)

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 4:01 PM

@HM: Oh, so if I have to go to the Main Library and happen to be on Lake Street, should I travel out of my way to make you happy? You are so proud of yourself for not yielding to pedestrians? I am not gonna ride on Harlem and I will decide when to ride on Lake Street, will continue to ride on sidewalks when I feel like it, so put that in your crack pipe and smoke it!

Nick Heitzman from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 3:52 PM

and fyi - you are quoting a "safety tip" not a law.

Nick Heitzman from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: July 22nd, 2011 3:48 PM

A car has to share the road. period. if a cyclist in the center lane - it is purrfectly legal and it is the cars responsibility to slow down.

H, M.  

Posted: July 15th, 2011 10:45 AM

So, Nick Heitzman, are you saying that bikes can ride in the center as a car would? Have a look at the Illinois state law before you "correct" me. FYI: Ride as close to the right edge of the road as practical. Certain conditions allow a bicyclist to move farther to the left if necessary, such as broken glass, drain grates, parked cars, left turns and passing. This was taken from

Nick Heitzman from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: July 14th, 2011 1:54 PM

Here is a pretty concise breakdown of bicycle road rules and street smarts.

Nick Heitzman from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: July 14th, 2011 1:31 PM

Please don't ride your bikes on the sidewalks people. It is bad for walking pedestrians and all sorts of screwy for other traffic. And H.M. - you are incorrect. Bicycles do *not* need to be on the far right of the road. The road belongs cyclists just much as it does to cars.

H, M. from oak park  

Posted: July 14th, 2011 10:54 AM

I agree with Epic Lulz...bikes are illegal on the sidewalks. I constantly get dirty looks from bikers when I refuse to yield to them as I walk on the sidewalks. Bikers need to wear helmets, use the far right side of the road, observe traffic laws as if they were in a vehicle, and start using some good old fashion common sense. I know some streets are dangerous, but in a grid like Oak Park, find a less traveled street.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 14th, 2011 9:07 AM

If you knew your rules of the road, pedestrians in the street are supposed to walk/run opposite to traffic. Furthermore, pedestrians are allowed to walk/run in the street, even when sidewalks are present, if safety dictates. Bicycles however are not allowed to ride on sidewalks (in communities that don't allow it) if traffic scares them. If you must use the sidewalk, get off your bike and walk it.

Oak Park Jogger  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 10:06 PM

Violet: There are clueless people (cyclist, runner, motorist or otherwise) all around us on the roads. I don't run with headphones on or a pet or a companion so I can be attentive to my surroundings. If I see any situation ahead that requires it, such as a car and bike competing for a lane, I simply get on the sidewalk. Your local cycle shop sells small mirrors that attach to your helmet if you'd like to see behind w/o turning around. Cars, not runners, are the threat to your safety.

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 11:02 AM

@OP Jogger: Good! I have a live one! May I pick your brain, sir? I take it that you are jogging on your left, which is my right? Now if I am coming your way, will you give me the right of way and jog further into the street so I don't have to look behind me? See, the problem is that when joggers are in the street, it's yet another lane taken up and what happens when cars are coming both ways? Also, some of these joggers have their dogs or a companion running abreast yet expect the biker to move!

Oak Park Jogger  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 10:58 AM

Violet: The sidewalks aren't safe for runners where there are alleys because too many cars come flying out of the alleys without looking for pedestrians. I've nearly been hit running on the sidewalk several times. Running on the street at least gives me a little more buffer. I run in the into traffic so I can see and respect cars coming at me. I've never caused a car or cyclist an issue and don't run on the major streets. Can't we all just get along?

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 10:24 AM

*Cont. cross the street in order to ride in the street instead of the sidewalk for a few blocks? I ride very slowly on the sidewalk and I use a bell to signal that I am behind someone or wish to pass. When I DO ride in the street, I now have to deal with JOGGERS who have all decided to jog in MY LANE towards ME! And then they expect the cyclist to go into the street if we're approaching one another, even though they can see the oncoming traffic and I would have to turn my head!

Violet Aura  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 10:21 AM

@Gail: Why does it bother you so much that cyclists ride on the sidewalk? Do you understand that on some streets, it simply is not safe for us to be in the street? For instance, there are times when I need to be on Lake Street and it's rush hour and all these people are entering/exiting their cars, sometimes opening them without looking. I don't get much leeway. Also, if I happen to be on the north side of Lake and need to drop something off at the Main Library, should I have to *to be cont.*


Posted: July 13th, 2011 9:36 AM

Can bicyclist be issued tickets by red light cameras?

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 8:57 AM

And just this morning, 24 hours later, I saw a bicyclist, who I see ride down Ridgeland almost every morning and who stopped to help during the accident at Ridgeland and Washington, ride through a red light at Ridgeland and Madison. Yes, he stopped first, but then rode through the intersection, after he passed the cars waiting. Jack#&$. I would love to see one of OP's finest pull a bike rider over and cite them for running a red light or stop sign. Hell, I'd love to see them do that to a driver!

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 13th, 2011 1:10 AM

Oh gosh, there you going trying to teach us about proper grammar and you mess up yourself, "laying ssomething down". j.oak park, if you are that busy checking out vehicle stickers, I'm sure you must recognize when a vehicle knows you are running in front of them or not. By the way, stay off the streets and run in the parks. Better for your joints and less carbon monoxide, which is better for your health, and of course less chances of being struck by a vehicle.

Carol from Oak Park   

Posted: July 12th, 2011 10:08 PM

At the risk of being called the grammar police, I would like to note that the victim was "lying" on the pavement. "Laying" is an action you perform on another object. For example, laying ssomething down. "Lying" is self- referential. For example, I am lying down now.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 9:31 PM

My experience differs from Nick. I find motorists in Oak Park to be, more than most places in the Chicago area, courteous to cyclists. Sometimes to a fault.

epic lulz  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 9:03 PM

From OakPark Patch: "The driver of the car, who police would not identify, received citations for failure to exercise care and driving without a valid license."

Ok Bike  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 8:28 PM

I'm compelled to add my own two cents: I've ridden every day of the year, rain, shine, or snow, in Oak Park for a while now and would like to commend the great majority of our drivers and bicyclists for their conscientious effort to travel safely and respect one another. Collisions like the one reporter here are sad to read about and I hope everyone is OK. Ride and drive safe, please.

j.oak park  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 7:24 PM

@editor from Oak Park...i think you were trying to say share the "road" not the rode. Please remember that all people who drive in Oak Park are not Oak Parkers. I walk, run and ride all around Oak Park and see many vehicle stickers, not just Oak Park. I can't tell you how many times i have been nearly run over by people who don't stop at stop signs in Oak Park...most of the offenders not being Oak Park cars, noting the vehicle stickers.

O P Resident  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 6:11 PM

Hey Nick, If OP drivers are the worst in the area, wouldn't a helmet be more logical to wear in OP?

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 5:58 PM

Nice idea to share the rode but bicycles and vehicles do not mix. Just like motorcycles, you need to be doing your best at paying attention at all times.

Dr. Cheryl E Haugh from Oak Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 5:09 PM

I just read in another publication that the driver was sited for not having a license and failure to exercise care. There are way too many adults and children opting out of wearing helmets and I agree that helmet use should be mandatory in Oak Park.

Julie from Elmwood Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 4:37 PM

Regardless of who's at fault, or even what the accident may be, when head vs. pavement, pavement will ALWAYS WIN. Wake up, Wear a helmet.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 3:41 PM

I think Trustee Johnson might be willing to take the lead on this issue. He and our Village Board are committed to making Oak Park bike-friendly. That's a good thing. Now it's time to require that bicyclists, especially those under 18 years old, wear a safety helmet. It's difficult to convince a child to put on a helmet when the response is, "None of my friends do!". Seatbelts and safety seats have reduced injuries and saved lives in vehicular accidents. Bike helmets will too!

Nick Heitzman from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 3:16 PM

I am not saying it was entirely the drivers fault. But I am sorry to say that IMO drivers in Oak Park are far more "un-aware" of cyclists than anywhere else I have ridden in recent memory. It's no surprise that everyone in Oak Park rides on the sidewalks. And people - please stop demonizing the victims of accidents for not wearing a helmets. Its a safety precaution yes, but it is not required by Illinois law. If a cyclist is hit by a car and they are not wearing a helmet it is not automatically their fault.


Posted: July 12th, 2011 3:11 PM

I'm curious whether the bicyclist was riding on the street or on the sidewalk. Helmet advocates: Wearing a helmet can decrease injury in the event of an accident, but it can't prevent an accident from occurring.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 2:40 PM

I was just commenting to a friend recently how I needed to write a letter to the editor deploring so many cyclists without helmets, riding on sidewalks, and not following the rules of the road in acting like a vehicle (e.g. riding the wrong way in a bike lane). Time for more bike safety education.

O P Resident  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 2:20 PM

Another FYI. Cars way a lot more than bikes with riders. Cars can kill. If you are a parent with a bike trailer, please dont take your infant or toddler children down streets like OP Ave, Ridgeland or Madison, Etc....


Posted: July 12th, 2011 2:14 PM

I was the 3rd person to stop at this accident and among those who helped keep her calm. I'm a cyclist and was just returning from a training ride. This was a scary scene and since I didn't see it happen, I cannot comment on who was responsible. It's a reminder to all of us ... please wear a helmet EVERY TIME you're on a bike, and especially DEMAND your kids do the same. I'm not a doctor; it appeared to me her injuries would have been far less if she'd had a helmet. I pray she's OK.

Daily Bike Commuter from OP  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 1:41 PM

No helmet? Shame on that. Yes, Drivers need to share the road, but not all accidents with bikes are the drivers fault. I ride downtown everyday and back and see lots of awful behaviors by drivers (cabs are the worst) but I see plenty of stupid things by cyclists as well. I don't know the story here, but don't just assume it was the driver's fault.

Nick Heitzman from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: July 12th, 2011 1:25 PM

No citations were being made?!!! LAME!!!! Car drivers need to learn to share the road.

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