A Divvy cyclist was killed after being struck by a flatbed truck at Belmont and Sacramento avenues.
The victim in the incident, which occurred at about 9 a.m. on Friday, was identified as 25-year-old Virginia Murray. She was riding next to a flatbed truck northbound on Sacramento. The two vehicles attempted to turn east onto Belmont when the truck struck the cycle.
Murray sustained serious injuries to her upper body and was subsequently transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, but was later declared dead.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, this is the first bike share death in the country since the program began in 2007.
Paul DeMaio, principal of Washington, D.C.-based MetroBike, a bike-share consulting business, expressed sorrow over the incident. “This is really unfortunate. My heart goes out to the family members and friends of the person who was killed,” he said. “Hopefully this will lead to the hastening and the growth of networks of bike infrastructure not only in Chicago but throughout North America.”
The Chicago Department of Transportation and Divvy expressed their “deepest condolences to the rider’s family and loved ones” in a joint statement.
Quartz previously reported that, of the thirty or so bike sharing programs across the United States, there had been no fatalities. Ever since the Divvy system was introduced, as many as 8 million riders have availed the facility.
Leah Knepper rides her bike daily in the city. On the day in question, she rode past the scene where the accident had occurred. “An intersection similar to this, I don’t feel safe,” she said, as reported by DNA Info. “I take extra time to make sure I am an advocate for my own safety. I never take a chance.”
Jim Merrell, advocacy director for the Active Transportation Alliance, said, “It’s a tragic reminder that we still have work to do to make our streets safe for everyone. We believe all fatalities on our roadways are preventable.”
The incident is being investigated by the Major Accident Investigation Unit.
“Every intersection should be safe, and anytime there’s a crash, just a single fatality is one too many,” Merrell said.
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