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Driver, Painting Nails, Kills Motorcyclist

By Kate Gardiner in News on May 4, 2009 5:00PM

cyclistdeath.jpg A suburban motorcyclist died Saturday night when another driver, painting her fingernails behind the wheel, slammed into her stopped bike at a yellow light in Lake Zurich. According to Lake County Coroner Richard Keller, the biker, Anita Zaffke, died of chest and abdominal injuries sustained in the incident at the intersection of Route 12 and Old McHenry Road (pictured right) when a Chevrolet Impala rear ended her bike around 5:30 p.m. Zaffke was wearing a helmet, and was taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, where she was pronounced dead an hour later.

Police said Zaffke did nothing wrong and could not have avoided the accident. The driver of the Impala, who was not named by the police, was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and could face additional charges. The driver admitted to authorities that she was painting her fingernails while driving. Keller said the force of the crash "pushed" Zaffke and her motorcycle several hundred feet forward.