Fatality tracker: Second bicycling fatality in Chicago in 2012 occurs on Independence Day

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 7 (6 have been from hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 2 (both are described in this post)
Transit: 5

Updated July 5 at 0:09: The first bicycling fatality occurred on June 25, 2012. Thank you to reader Jim Krok for pointing this out in the comments. That crash’s victim was 11-year-old Christopher Fonseca, of the southwest part of Logan Square. He died 5 days after the crash happened on June 20, 2012. Moved the Street View map west one block to show the location of the crash according to a commenter who claims to have witnessed the crash. Read the comment below.

I was really hoping that 2012 would see 0 bicycling fatalities. Unfortunately, today, July 4th, an 81-year-old man crashed and side-swiped an automobile today in the Edgebrook neighborhood. He died less than two hours later. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Robert Vanpelt of the 6300 block of North Hiawatha Avenue was pronounced dead at 12:05 p.m. at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The accident [crash!] happened on the 5100 block of West Devon Avenue at 10:40 a.m. as the man was cycling westbound in the middle of the street, said Chicago Police News Affairs officer Veejay Zala.

The bicyclist hit a Toyota 4-Runner SUV and was critically injured as he side-swiped the SUV. No citations are expected in the incident, Zala said.

The Chicago Tribune’s report doesn’t make it clear if the automobile Vanpelt crashed into was moving or parked; the report seems to blame the person cycling for the collision. A look at the Street View shows that there is no street parking and the road has qualities found most often in suburban communities: many driveways, no bike lanes, and no sidewalks (the south side has a sidewalk, though). The wide travel lanes and lack of automobile parking here are probably connected to higher-than-speed limit speeds.

See Robert’s page on Every Bicyclist Counts.

Open Street View in larger map

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.