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Family Of Cyclist Killed By Mag Mile Tour Bus Is Suing The Driver

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Aug 3, 2016 8:45PM

On the heels of a different lawsuit involving a Chicago cyclist who was fatally struck by a vehicle earlier this year, the family of the bike courier who was killed by a Magnificent Mile tour bus has filed a lawsuit against the bus driver and touring company.

Blaine Klingenberg, 29, of Logan Square, was pinned under a double-decker bus on June 15, which fatally struck the cyclist while he was crossing the intersection of Oak Street and Michigan Avenue. At the time, authorities said Klingenberg had run a red light. But his family, represented by the Freeman Kevenides Law Firm, is disputing those claims, saying that it was the bus driver who ran the red light.

The wrongful death lawsuit, which Streetsblog Chicago's editor first wrote about in the Reader Wednesday afternoon, names Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company and Charla Henry, the bus driver. The lawsuit is seeking a minimum of $50,000 in damages. The lawsuit says Klingenberg "suffered great pain and anguish, both in mind and body prior to his death," and claims that the driver:

  • disobeyed red light traffic signal

  • failed to exercise the care and caution that a reasonable person under similar circumstances would have exercised in the operation while driving the bus

  • failed to keep and adequate lookout while driving the bus

  • drove the bus "at a speed that was greater than was reasonable given the traffic conditions and the use of the highway"

  • failed to avoid hitting a bicyclist or pedestrian

  • "was otherwise careless or negligent" while driving the bus
  • Jim Freeman, a managing partner in the law firm representing Klingenberg's father who specializes in cases involving cyclists, told Chicagoist it's not unusual for cyclists to be initially blamed for collisions until the collisions are investigated further.

    "What we see time and time again, and not just in the city of Chicago but a lot of different places, is initial media and police reports will come out blaming the bicyclist," he said. "And then we delve into it and find out that oh, that's not the whole story. That's what's going on here. We're going to hash it out and find out exactly what was wrong. It's a more complicated story than that the cyclist blew the red—it's just not that simple."