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Bicyclist Hit On Lawrence Avenue: UPDATE

By Mike Fourcher | Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ambulance carries injured cyclist away from scene of accident at the intersection of Lawrence and Washtenaw Avenues. Photo: Patty Wetli

Bicyclist Ivan Villegas was struck by a northbound southbound car crossing Lawrence Avenue at Washtenaw at approximately 5 p.m. today.

A Chicago Fire Department spokesman said Villegas was taken by ambulance to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious condition. Fire, police and emergency vehicles all responded.

Billy Morco, a friend of Villegas, witnessed the incident. According to Morco, Villegas was riding in the bike lane on Lawrence heading toward the lake when a car shot through the intersection at Washtenaw. “I guess he didn’t see him,” Morco said of the driver, who was being questioned at the scene.

“His left shin was broke,” said Morco, and Villegas also appeared to have suffered a cut lip, leaving a trail of blood on the sidewalk. “He was conscious and talking; he’s just really scared.”

Villegas’ girlfriend was also on the scene; visibly shaken, she accompanied him to the hospital.

Ironically, the intersection of Lawrence and Washtenaw was recently targeted by CDOT with new pedestrian crossing signs aimed at slowing cars on Lawrence.

Additional reporting from the scene by Patty Wetli.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/JACKTOOF Jack Price

    That’s a shame. I hope the bicyclist recovers well.

    Isn’t Washtenaw Ave. one-way southbound both north and south of Lawrence?

    • niuguy

      Yes it is.

    • pattyw

      You’re correct. The car was coming from the north side of Washtenaw, traveling south.

  • jkarczek

    ““I guess he didn’t see him,” Morco said of the driver, who was being questioned at the scene.”

    What are the odds that the driver will be charged with anything other than a minor traffic infraction or will have sufficient insurance to cover the cyclist’s injuries? Driver’s privileges are so enshrined in this society that they are able to get away with all but the most blatant reckless acts with nothing more than a ticket and maybe, if they’re really unfortunate, a slightly higher insurance premium. It’s always “just an accident”, which absolves virtually any callous disregard shown towards those around them. Only when there is a loss of life and subsequent community outcry, as in a couple of notable recent cases, is there a CHANCE that the driver will be forced to account for their behavior in a meaningful way.

  • tabitha

    Just today I was driving through that intersection and thinking to myself “there should really be a stop sign here”. Yikes. That is horrible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040737365 Joe Ferguson

    Ivan, you have to go to the court date on that driver’s ticket. Bring photos of your injuries. If you do not make it to the court date the judge WILL dismiss the ticket. You should also get a lawyer that would only take pay if there is a settlement. Standard practice is the lawyer get’s 1/3 of the settlement.

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  • http://opusthepoet.wordpress.com/ Opus the Poet

    Another blind driver? How do they get past the testers at the DMV? I say that if you use that excuse to get out of a fine or ticket, then you lose your license for life. If you can’t see a cyclist, how can you possibly see the tiny stripes on the road to stay in your lane? Conversely, if you can manage to stay in your lane you can see an adult human being (or even a large child) and avoid hitting one.

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