• June 10, 2022

Toddler Killed in Bicycle/Truck Accident on West Leland Ave in Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL — June 9, 2022, a 3-year-old girl died after a semi-truck crashed into her mother's bicycle on West Leland Avenue in Uptown Chicago.

According to reports the incident happened around 8:00 a.m. on the 1100 block of West Leland near Clark Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a woman was riding a bicycle with a toddler in a seat on the back.

The two were riding on Leland when they reportedly became "crowded" between a ComEd truck blocking the bike lane and a semi-truck beside it in the road. As the mother tried to get between the trucks the semi-truck moved and clipped the bike, causing the child seat to fall off.

The 3-year-old in the seat fell out and went under the semi-truck, then was dragged around 20 feet. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. No other injuries were reported.

Police cited the ComEd truck for blocking the bike lane.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Bicycle Accident on West Leland Street in Chicago

According to a witness to this terrible crash, the duo on the bicycle were wearing helmets and traveling in a designated bike lane when they encountered the power company's truck in their path. I'm no civil engineer, but I suspect bike lanes are much less effective at protecting cyclists when trucks use them as parking spots. The company has already issued a statement that the accident didn't involve them, apparently basing that on their truck not being physically hit by the bike or the semi-truck, but I'm not sure that denial really holds water if their employees really blocked the road as described. Their statement also noted they were there on business contracted by the city, but I somehow doubt they were expressly told to use the bike lane as they pleased.

There's also the matter of the semi-truck that made contact with the bike. Why was it so close by? If it clipped the bike does that mean it too was partway in the bike lane? If so, why? Was the truck driver paying attention to their surroundings and the cyclist nearby?

Elizabeth Grace Shambrook Killed in Bicycle/Truck Accident on West Leland Ave in Chicago, IL

I don't want to pick a fight with anyone here, but a young life was cut short and it seems very much like someone should answer for that. Neither company behind those trucks is likely to accept fault for what happened, though, and that may devolve into a lengthy round of "hot potato" as each tries to heap blame on the other.

To cut that disagreement short and ensure the right parties are held accountable it's important to investigate carefully and round up clear evidence telling the whole story. If police don't plan to invest the time or effort to find all the facts, the people affected by this tragedy may want to enlist independent professionals to work on their behalf.

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