Cyclist Killed Under Wheels of Semi
Neill Townsend, a 32-year-old lawyer who had come to Chicago
for law school, was killed in early October while riding his bicycle on Wells Street, in front of Walter Payton High School, according to the Chicago Tribune
. "More than 50 people gathered at a vigil" to share stories and pay homage to the deceased cyclist, who was killed "by a truck after he swerved his bike to avoid a car door." Police told the Tribune
that Townsend "swerved and fell underneath the wheels of a passing semi that was hauling a flat-bed trailer. The man who opened the door was cited for a traffic violation, according to Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Robert Perez."
Being "doored," as its known to cycling enthusiasts in big cities across the country, is one of the most common ways that a cyclist is injured. In 1995, according to BicyclingInfo.org and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration
, there were 830 bicyclist deaths. That number declined to 618 in 2010, a 25 percent reduction. Similarly, bicyclist injuries declined 16 percent. Far more than half—87 percent—of all cyclists killed were male, and 64 percent of those killed
were between the ages of 24 and 64. While 618 deaths annually is nothing to scoff at, the fact that the numbers have continued to decline in the most recent decade is positive given in the increase in popularity of cycling in big cities such as Chicago and New York.
Friends and co-workers told the Tribune
that Townsend often advised other cyclists on biker-friendly streets and routes. According to data from the American Community Survey
, for every 1,000 people counted who commuted to work by bicycle, 10.68 people received an incapacitating injury
or died in Chicago in 2010.
If you've been injured in a cycling accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Don't go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Cook County personal injury attorney
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