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Updated: Cyclist, 20, Fatally Hit By Semi Truck In Noble Square

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 16, 2016 4:12PM

800 N Milwaukee Intersection via Google street view

A 20-year-old bicyclist was fatally hit by a semi truck on Tuesday morning in Noble Square, according to Chicago police.

The collision happened around 8:15 a.m. in the 800 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, police told Chicagoist. Authorities could not confirm the direction of travel of either the cyclist or the truck driver.

The victim was taken to Northwestern Hospital, where they (the cyclist goes by gender neutral pronouns) were first listed in critical condition then pronounced dead.

The driver, a 37-year-old man, stayed on the scene after the crash, police said. Citations are pending, according to CPD spokeswoman.

This is the third bicyclist fatality in Chicago this year. Virginia Murray, 25, was struck and killed in a right-hook crash in July while riding a Divvy in Avondale. Courier Blaine Klingenberg, 29, was hit and pinned underneath a double-decker tour bus, just north of the Magnificent Mile in June.

Update: 2:25 p.m.:
The cyclist was identified as 20-year-old Lisa Kuivinen of Rolling Meadows, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Initial police reports identified their age as 21. They appears to have been a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The collision occurred on a busy portion of Milwaukee Avenue, just north of Racine Avenue, as the cyclist and truck both traveled southbound. Bike lanes run along both north- and southbound lanes on the 800 block of North Milwaukee Ave.; but only the northbound bike lines are protected.

The victim was struck and dragged underneath an 18-wheel flatbed truck owned by the Illinois Brick Company, according to ABC 7.

A large-scale construction project, at 830 N. Milwaukee Ave., is underway just south of where the crash occurred. Work has been ongoing for several months. It is unclear whether the truck was headed to that site.

bkL Architecture—the firm developing the 830 N. Milwaukee Ave. site—and Illinois Brick Company were not immediately available for comment.

Jim Merrell, Advocacy Director of Active Transportation Alliance, said the noticeably high-traffic corridor carries potential for trouble. “Milwaukee stands out nationally as one of the biggest biking streets in the whole country,” he told Chicagoist. “Whenever you have so much traffic mixing in one area, that raises concern.”

At the same time, he complimented the city’s overall commitment to biking infrastructure while stressing the need to remain flexible. “We believe that despite tragedies like today’s, overall we’re moving in a better direction. But we have to continue to develop how we respond. We’re eagerly looking forward to the city’s Vision Zero findings,” he said, referring to the administration’s partnered plan to eliminate traffic fatalities. The city is expected to release the findings this fall.

Update, 5:30 p.m.:
Kuivinen was riding in the bike lane when they were struck, a CPD spokesman confirmed with Chicagoist. The driver of the truck has been cited for driving in a bike lane and failure to take due care of a bicyclist in the roadway, he said.