Driver Charged with Reckless Homicide in Fatal Bike Crash

Bicycle accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that the north suburban man who fatally hit a bicyclist in the River North neighborhood of Chicago was recently charged with reckless homicide and DUI.

The 28-year-old Park Ridge man was driving south on Larrabee Street on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 when he struck and killed a southbound bicyclist. The cyclist was Robert George Cann, 26, of North Southport Avenue. After the crash he was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, and declared dead just after seven p.m.

Cann worked at Groupon in downtown Chicago and rode his bike to work every single day, no matter the weather. Originally from New Hampshire, he worked in Groupon’s editorial department for more than two years.

The driver remained on the scene and was immediately taken into custody. He is now charged with aggravated DUI involving death, misdemeanor DUI and reckless driving, reckless homicide, and failure to stay in the lane. It is not yet clear whether or not Cann’s family will seek charges against the driver.

In related news in Illinois, the wife of a recently deceased man filed a lawsuit against the owners of a recreational trail where her husband was fatally struck by a car. The woman, Mary Beltz, claims that her husband William was riding his bike down the Schoolhouse Trail near Illinois Route 111 when a man in a Chevrolet Lumina hit him.

She is alleging that the defective design of the trail and intersecting roads are partially to blame for her husband’s death. The lawsuit claims that there were no traffic control signs on the Schoolhouse Trail, which intersects with Route 111 and Horseshoe Lake Road. There is one particular turn on Schoolhouse Trail that requires riders to slow or stop in the middle of the intersection of Route 111 and Horseshoe Lake Road.

Beltz names the Madison County Mass Transit District, which owns and operates Schoolhouse Trail, and the Agency for Community Transit Board, which maintains the trail, in her suit. She claims the entities negligently failed to provide appropriate signs warning trail-goers of the dangerous intersection.

She also names Oates Associates as a defendant, the company that designed the trail. She claims Oates failed to: properly incorporate warning signs in its designs, to place stop signs at intersections, warn of dangerous trail elements, supervise the appropriate placement of signs on the trail, and failed to design a trail that did not have exceedingly dangerous turns. She is seeking upwards of $400,000 for her husband’s funeral costs and her loss of his society, companionship, love, and financial support.

It is not only the presence of motor vehicles near recreation paths, however, that pose great risks for injury and harm. Recently in Texas, a jogger and bicyclist collided on one of Dallas’ most popular exercise paths, sending the jogger to the hospital with critical head injuries. The jogger abruptly turned left on the trail as the biker was attempting to pass her; she was running with earphones in and likely did not hear the bicycle approaching.

Bicycle accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience advocating on behalf of those seriously injured in incidents of this kind. Anyone seriously injured through the negligence of another has important legal rights, and may be entitled to significant compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.

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