The Chainlink

Kevin Clark, ‘School of Rock’ actor and drummer, killed riding bicycle in Avondale

Kevin Clark, who played drummer Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in “School of Rock” and was still playing with a Chicago-area band, was being remembered Wednesday as being “big-hearted” by friends who vowed they would “rock on” in his memory.

Clark died after running a red light and being hit by a car as he crossed a street in the Avondale neighborhood early Wednesday, according to Chicago police.

About 1:20 a.m., Clark, 32, of the 700 block of West Roscoe Street in Lakeview, was riding east on his bike on Logan Boulevard, approaching the intersection at North Western Avenue, police said. A silver Hyundai Sonata driving south on Western Avenue was coming up on a green light and drove into the intersection, hitting the bicyclist as he ran a red light, a witness and the driver both told responding officers, according to a crash report.

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On 6/12, there will be a vigil and press conference starting at 10 a.m. at the Logan Square monument.

Here's the text from the FB event for anyone not on FB.

"Join us for a vigil and press conference honoring Kevin Clark’s legacy through music, action, and love. Kevin was tragically hit and killed while riding his bike on Wednesday May 26th near the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Western Avenue. He was a drummer and music educator well known for his role in the 2003 School of Rock movie starring Jack Black.

Speakers will remember Kevin’s life and legacy and call for improving bicycling safety in Logan Square and neighborhoods throughout Chicago. We will also install a ghost bike memorial for Kevin near the crash site.
The area around Logan and Western has long been recognized as a treacherous area for people walking and biking. In 2018 Active Transportation Alliance worked with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association to develop a suite of community-informed recommendations to improve the intersection, including removing a travel lane for a short segment, adding a protected bike lane, and enhancing crosswalks and lighting. Sadly, the city and state never took action.

Please join us in honoring Kevin's life and legacy by pushing for safety improvements at Logan/Western and bicycling safety in neighborhoods throughout Chicago so no family is ever struck by this same tragedy again."

Active Trans created an action link for people to send messages asking for safety improvements to be made to the intersection. You can use it to send a message to the mayor and your alderman.

Kevin Clark's family set up a website "Honoring Kevin's Legacy Through, Music, Action and Love." Check it out here:

This link will get folks past the Tribune's paywall: 

Malware Bytes reports this link as containing a Trojan.



Thanks Bob, the Tribune article on the topic reads basically the same.  (And the Aurora-Beacon news - the trib owns them now?)

Funny how so many mainstream news outlets reported that the driver allegedly had a green, but none of them bothered to look into the citations against her, which showed that that she refused a DUI test (which means an automatic one-year license suspension), and was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions and not having insurance. Records show she was also ticketed in April for running a stop sign in Forest Park and driving uninsured, but she never bothered to get insurance after that, so she's obviously an irresponsible driver.

Notwithstanding the car driver's record, the witness confirmed that the car driver had the green.  Unfortunately similar in the Helmut Jahn case, the witness(es?) confirmed that one of my favorite architects for Chicago and beyond had run the stop sign.  Introducing the hypothetical and non-sequitur Idaho stop post-hoc in either case doesn't help protect anyone.  (If your point was to demonstrate that a cyclist's Idaho stop is dangerous, then you did make your point)

She may be an irresponsible driver (the evidence suggests it), but that doesn't mean he didn't cross on a red. If she was impaired, then I believe (IANAL) that the law holds you at least partly responsible for a crash on that basis alone, independent of other factors. I've done a stop-and-go at plenty of red lights late at night, but Logan/Western is a bad intersection to do it at any time. Regardless of infrastructure, sightlines just aren't very good.

There's reportedly POD camera footage of the crash, that will hopefully shed some light on exactly what happened. I won't go into details here, but there's reason to question the account of the car occupants and the other witness.

Are your required to take a DUI test?  Is there an actual penalty if you refuse?

Lawyers sometimes suggest you refuse the breathalyzer test as it makes it easier to win the criminal charge of DUI at trial.

In Illinois, if your refuse, there's a mandatory one-year suspension of your license.


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