Two weeks ago, the Avondale neighborhood on Chicago's Northwest Side was the scene of a fatal crash. The motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Kedzie Avenue, close by the Kennedy Expressway.
According to investigators' reports, the man on the motorcycle was traveling straight through the intersection when a car approaching from the opposite direction made a left-hand turn, cutting in front of the motorcycle. The biker could not avoid the vehicle, hitting the rear quarter of the car. The impact threw the man to the pavement, and he suffered a broken neck in the collision.
Emergency responders arrived on scene and rushed the victim to the hospital. His injuries were too severe to overcome, however, and the man passed away a brief half hour after the accident.
A special accident investigation team of the Chicago Police Department has initiated an inquiry into the fatal motorcycle crash. The preliminary information about the collision appears to reveal an important detail: The driver of the car was making a left-hand turn across oncoming traffic.
This detail often appears in motorcycle crashes. Sometimes drivers believe they can make the turn safely when the window for completing the turn has already passed. In other instances, drivers may give an insufficient look at oncoming traffic, failing to see the slimmer and smaller profile of a motorcycle. This lapse in judgment can have serious consequences, as this case illustrates.
Drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a prudent manner, and they should err on the side of caution. Driving in a negligent manner, however, can subject drivers to civil liability where injuries occur.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Vernon Hills man killed in motorcycle crash on Northwest Side," Sept. 12, 2012