A toddler was killed in an Uptown pedestrian crash on June 9, the second child traffic death to occur on Chicago streets in just a week.
The 3-year-old was riding in a child seat attached to the back of her mother’s bike. Her mother had to ride around a ComEd truck which was parked in the bike lane and blocking a stop sign, forcing her to ride between the ComEd truck and a semi truck which was traveling in the same direction. The mother’s bike was clipped by the semi, causing the toddler to be thrown under the wheels. The child, identified as Elizabeth Shambrook, was pronounced dead at Lurie Children’s Hospital shortly after.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The ComEd truck was issued two tickets for parking illegally – one for being in the bike lane, another for parking within 30 feet of a stop sign. Activists say this is not the first time a ComEd vehicle has blocked a bike lane. A member of Bike Lane Uprising said they had reported this behavior to ComEd many times in the past, but never heard back.
“ComEd was issued a permit by the Chicago Department of Transportation to perform work in the area, however our investigation into the accident is ongoing,” ComEd spokesperson John Schoen said.
The driver of the semi has not been cited.
Exactly one week prior on June 2, 2-year-old Raphael Cardenas was killed by a driver while scootering through a crosswalk in Lincoln Square. Witnesses say the boy quickly entered the crosswalk as his father yelled at him to stop. He was similarly transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital and pronounced dead. The driver was not cited by police.
Bike and pedestrian safety activists say that not enough has been done to prevent tragedies such as these. They say a combination of reckless driving and poor infrastructure create dangerous conditions on Chicago streets and sidewalks. In 2020, Chicago on-street deaths jumped to 139 (compared to 96 in 2019) and many states across the country are recording similar trends. So far in 2022, 76 pedestrians have died throughout Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Car and pedestrian fatalities are often avoidable. Those who suffer injury or loss because of a driver’s negligent or reckless actions do have legal recourse, and can work with an attorney to receive compensation for pain and suffering, along with medical bills they might have incurred.
Levin & Peconti is a Chicago-based law firm specializing in all kinds of catastrophic personal injury matters, including motor vehicle and trucking accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation.