The Chainlink

Second Chicago Bike Fatality of 2017: Louis Smith in Garfield Park

Louis Smith, 56 year old was killed while riding his bike in Garfield Park. It is upsetting to see the details - is that really what happened? The wording is disappointing.

Louis Smith was riding a bicycle about 8:35 p.m. northbound in the 100 block of North Homan when the bike swerved into a Chrysler 200 that was traveling south, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Smith was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:12 p.m., authorities said. He lived on the Near West Side.

The female driver of the Chrysler was not injured, police said.

As of early Tuesday, no citations or charges have been filed in connection with the crash. The police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is investigating.

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My sympathy to the family and friends of Louis Smith.

Unless there are independent witnesses, it's possible that no one will know whether the description of the crash is accurate or fake. Quite often, the driver's version of what happened is VERY different from the cyclist's.

Sadly, too often the driver's version stands as the official version as the cyclist cannot give their side of the story.

History in situations like this is written by the survivors, who are always the drivers.  I'd like to see the crash scene photos.  

"...I'd like to see the crash scene photos." 

You're assuming that any photos were taken. Sad to say that the priority in most cases is to get the wreckage off the road ASAP so automobile traffic can get on the way without further impediment. Can't be inconveniencing the cagers, now can we?

Actually they had it blocked off for hours and the Major Accidents unit came out and did take pictures. I work right over there and had to find a way around. I drove by shortly after the accident and if the lady that was really shaken up was the driver, she looked really young and in tears.

I have friends that work in that district as police and sounds like the cyclist was on his phone when it happened and cut in front of the car against traffic.

"Evidence that is offered by a witness of which they do not have direct knowledge but, rather, their testimony is based on what others have said to them."

Louis Smith RIP. +
Bravo, I didn't say it was fact did I?

No, I even qualified it as second hand knowledge of the cyclist being on his phone. Should I have added a bold don't before the statement to clarify it as heresy?

Yep, one reason I keep a camera rolling on my bike, in case, God forbid, I'm a fatality (or other serious injury) -- the footage could help.

John Greenfield wrote a much better article. Not much more information but I appreciate the approach. Rest in peace Louis. :-(

As a female driver in a Chrysler 200 was heading southbound on Homan, Smith “swerved into the vehicle,” according to the crash report. It’s not clear whether there were any witnesses to the collision, and since the victim is not alive to tell his side of the story, this may simply be the driver’s description of what happened.

Services for Louis Ray Smith are on Saturday at 10am. 

Just what I sought.  Thanx as usual Tom.

You're welcome Andrew!


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