Driving at night in Illinois can be a challenge sometimes. This is especially true if you make the selfish decision to drive after you have consumed alcohol. It’s quite difficult to identify and react to brake lights, headlights, and road markings if you are driving under the influence without much light to assist you. And it can be nearly impossible to see other objects on the road – like bicyclists.
Sadly, this truth was demonstrated in the Douglas Park area of Chicago over the weekend in a deadly car-bicycle accident. Shortly before midnight on Friday, a 28-year old man was riding his bike home from work on West Ogden Avenue near Campbell Road, which is just west of Western Avenue and less than a mile south of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway. A 54-year old Riverside man driving a car struck the bike, and the younger man had to be rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Chicago Police have filed DUI charges after determining that the driver’s blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.
It’s not clear precisely what caused the collision, but it appears that the 54-year old man will be held partially or solely responsible for the auto accident. As a result, the parents of the 28-year old man (who are also his closest surviving relatives) have solid grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Riverside man. A jury could order the defendant to pay monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship, reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, and the estimated future wages that the victim would have earned in his lifetime.
The 28-year old man, a former Marine, was working as a cook at a Mexican restaurant in River North. He had told his co-workers that he had thought about taking the train home on the night of the accident, but decided to ride his bike instead because he enjoyed it.