Sometimes, it seems that auto accidents in Illinois occur in clusters in a given area. There’s no scientific basis for this observation, meaning that this phenomenon can usually be explained as happenstance. One such coincidence occurred last month just west of Chicagoland, where three different collisions between bicycles and cars were reported in roughly a 24-hour period.
The first incident was reported on Tuesday, September 24 just before 7:30am in Aurora. A 61-year old man was reportedly riding his bike east on Sullivan Road just before Illinois Route 25 (about a half mile south of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway). He was in the right turn lane when a car traveling in the same direction struck the man’s bike. The victim was rushed to a Downer’s Grove hospital with serious injuries. The 25-year old man driving the car, who was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, claimed that he was blinded by sunlight and didn’t see the bicyclist.
Then two more bicycle accidents were reported the following day in Naperville. Around 7:15am, a 14-year old boy was riding his bike to Neuqua High School when he was struck by a vehicle. He was treated at a nearby hospital for injuries and then released. And just before 7:30am, a 56-year old woman was riding her bicycle across Diehl Road at Freedom Drive near DeVry University (less than a half mile south of the Tollway) when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by a 35-year old Aurora man. The woman later died from her injuries at a local hospital.
If the vehicle drivers are indeed found to be primarily responsible for these collisions, then they could all be named as defendants in civil lawsuits. The Aurora bicyclist could file a personal injury lawsuit against the 25-year old car driver. The parents of the 14-year old could file a similar suit on his behalf against the driver of the vehicle which struck him. And the surviving relatives of the 56-year old bicyclist could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the 35-year old Aurora man.