The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a woman was struck and killed by a motorist Saturday morning. It appears that the woman was crossing Densmore Road on the Virgil Gillman Nature trail with a group of other riders when she was struck. Densmore Road is a wide open flat stretch of roadway where it crosses the trail. There are two signs in each direction warning approaching drivers of the bicycle trail crossing and the speed limit is posted as 45 mph. The fatal rural Aurora collision occurred shortly before 11am, and the weather was bright and sunny. Make no mistake, this collision would have occurred in broad daylight. While police did not issue any charges, I would be interested to know if any investigation was conducted to determine if the driver was distracted or on the phone at the time of the collision.
We have seen a number of cases in which a driver drove through a group of cyclists attempting to negotiate a road crossing. Inevitably the driver points to right of way as a rationale for so much as failing to look in front of their vehicle or responsibly applying the brakes in order to avoid a collision they knew or should have know to be imminent. We hear the same language over and over from defendants in cases like this, “…came out of nowhere… …barreling down the street… ..I didn’t see her…” Failure to see what is in front of one’s vehicle is negligence at the least. Declining to take reasonable actions to avoid a collision because of one’s right of way is willful.
One undertakes a tremendous responsibility when they get behind the wheel of a car. It’s almost like driving a one ton loaded gun down the road. The very least we should expect of a person undertaking such a grave responsibility is that they look in front of them as they drive down the road in broad daylight and that they take reasonable actions to avoid collisions.
Originally posted at Bicycle Fatality in Aurora on Saturday.