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Woman on bike critically hurt by city truck in Avondale

The 48-year-old truck driver told investigators the bicyclist was in his blindspot, officials said.

A frame of a bystander’s video shows fired crews remove a bicyclist from under a city dump truck Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in the 3100 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.
A frame of a bystander’s video shows fired crews remove a bicyclist from under a city dump truck Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in the 3100 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.
Facebook/Esteban Burgoa

A bicyclist was run over and critically injured by a city dump truck Tuesday morning in Avondale on the Northwest Side.

The crash happened about 8:30 a.m. as the 31-year-old woman was riding northwest in the 3100 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago police said.

As she turned right on Belmont Avenue, a truck behind her also turning right struck her and dragged her under the vehicle, trapping her, police said.

The woman was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center with critical injuries, police said.

The 48-year-old male driver of the truck was taken to Swedish Hospital for observation. He told investigators the bicyclist was in his blindspot, a police spokeswoman said.

The Chicago Department of Transportation confirmed one of its trucks was involved in the crash but declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

In November 2019, a woman on a bicycle was killed in a similar crash only blocks away from the Avondale crash. Carla Aiello, a 37-year-old mother and teacher, was killed when a truck driver struck her while making a right turn from Milwaukee Avenue onto Kilbourne Avenue.

Cycling advocates call that type of crash a “right hook,” where a vehicle traveling in the same direction as the cyclist turns in front of the biker, who gets trapped under the truck’s wheels.

In 2017, the city passed an ordinance requiring the city’s truck fleet be equipped with side guards designed to prevent someone from falling under a truck’s wheels. City contractors are required by 2021 to install similar side guards.

Photos of the Avondale crash show a city truck that appears to have side guards installed.

So far this year, at least two other bicyclists have been killed in crashes citywide. On May 20, Andrew Peterson, 37, was fatally struck by a car while he was biking in the South Loop. The driver of the car was cited for failing to reduce speed. On Feb. 29, a 61-year-old bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash in East Garfield Park.

Between 2012 and 2018, the city saw an average of 5.5 bicyclists killed per year.