Jana Kinsman, a 27-year-old woman from Logan Square and avid cyclist, was injured last week when an SUV pulled up next to her while she was riding her bike and a passenger grabbed her messenger bag, pulling her up the street and smashing her into a parked car. This incident highlights the dangers Chicago cyclists face with the current biking infrastructure and emphasizes the importance of protected bike lanes.
Kinsman was riding her bike up Kimball Avenue to Albany Park just after midnight to check on a friend’s cat when the incident occurred. The SUV pulled up alongside her, with several men inside, trapping her between the SUV and a row of parked cars. Kinsman remembers screaming when she felt a hand from the rear passenger window reach out and grab her bag. She could hear laughter inside the vehicle. Eventually, Kinsman swerved and hit a parked car, causing her assailant to lose his grip. She fell to the ground, landing on her left arm and hip, sustaining bruises and roadrash.
Chicago police have labeled the incident a hit-and-run, however, witnesses were unable to provide the license plate number for the vehicle, leaving police little to go off of, except the model and color of the SUV.
Although Kinsman didn’t have any broken bones, she had a lot of pain in her left arm and her bicycle needed major repairs, leaving her unable to get to her beehives. Kinsman regularly bikes between Bridgeport, Pilsen, and Old Irving Park for Bike-a-Bee, a nonprofit beekeeping program she founded. Fortunately, people who found out about the incident online offered her the use of their cars and bikes to help her get around.
The next day, Kinsman expressed her anger and fear that she could have been killed. According to a Chicago Tribune article , Kinsman tweeted this after leaving the hospital, “What still has me sobbing with rage is the violation of my entire being. I could have been killed by these guys in a car. [ I ] am in pain and furious and feeling helpless.”
Although there is an extensive network of bike lanes throughout the Chicagoland area, most are unprotected, offering no barrier between cyclists and motorists, such as a barrier of parked cars or white pegs to separate bicyclists from traffic. Kinsman’s experience is one we don’t often hear about, but offers yet another danger cyclists face when sharing the road with motorists. The attorneys at Boudreau & Nisivaco send their deepest sympathies to Kinsman as she works to recover from the physical and emotional damage, knowing that her fate could have been much worse.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident , contact our law office today. Our lawyer’s are commited to your maximum physical and financial recovery and have the experience you need to get the settlement you deserve.