Cyclist Killed in Melrose Park Hit-and-Run Identified

Melrose Park Hit-and-RunJerome Ford, a Chicago resident, has been identified as the bicyclist tragically killed in a hit-and-run incident in Melrose Park. According to Melrose Park police, Ford was struck and fatally injured near Gottlieb Hospital on Tuesday morning by a vehicle that fled the scene. The victim was dragged approximately 400 feet by the vehicle before succumbing to his injuries. Despite the ongoing investigation, there are few leads on the suspect.

Discussing the incident with Eyewitness News, Maciej Wojtasik, who frequently rides in the area, expressed the inherent risks of cycling along 7th and North Avenue, pointing out the dangers posed by reckless drivers who disregard traffic signals and fail to watch out for cyclists. The tragedy has heightened concerns among cyclists, who feel compelled to remain hyper-vigilant while sharing the road with motorists.

Wotjasik noted, “Completely ignoring the stop signs, ignoring the stop lights, not looking out for cyclists. You're constantly having to be on the absolute highest alert.”

The incident occurred at around 5 a.m. along the bike trail in front of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, underscoring the urgency of ensuring road safety for all commuters. Andrew Mack, spokesperson for the Village of Melrose Park, condemned the senseless loss of life and acknowledged the challenges faced by law enforcement in apprehending the perpetrator. Despite efforts to review nearby surveillance footage, authorities have yet to identify the vehicle responsible for the collision.

In a plea for assistance from the public, Melrose Park police are urging anyone with information regarding the hit-and-run to come forward. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident. Witnesses or individuals with relevant information are encouraged to contact Melrose Park police at 708-344-8409.

We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Jerome Ford and hope that they can find justice amid this terrible tragedy.

About bicycle accidents in Chicago

Chicago had 1,717 bicycle accidents in 2022, which is almost 70% of all bicycle-automobile collisions in Illinois that year. The city's annual average is around 1,400 bicycle crashes, with seven fatal crashes and 145 cyclists sustaining incapacitating injuries. The month of July has the highest rate of bicycle crashes, with an average of 230 cyclists involved in crashes in the past two years.

Here are some other statistics about bicycle accidents in Chicago:

  • 86% of incapacitating injuries occur in areas with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or higher
  • From 2017 to 2021, Chicago had an average of 2.6 fatal bicycle crashes per million residents, which is a 19% increase from 2012 to 2016
  • From 2005 to 2010, the number of fatal crashes decreased by 28%, while the number of injury crashes increased by 27%
  • About 55% of fatal and injury crashes occur at intersections

Common injuries from bicycle accidents

Bicycle accidents here in Chicago can cause a wide range of catastrophic injuries, including:

  • Brain injuries: Head injuries are among the most serious consequences of bicycle accidents. Even when cyclists wear helmets, they may still sustain head trauma in a collision with a motor vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, skull fractures, and other head injuries can lead to long-term disabilities or even fatalities. It’s important to seek immediate medical care after any injury to the head.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries are another common outcome of bicycle accidents, particularly those involving high speeds or forceful impacts. When a cyclist is thrown from their bike or crushed by a vehicle, they may suffer damage to the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or loss of sensation below the injury site. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care, placing a significant burden on the injured individual and their loved ones.
  • Fractures and orthopedic injuries: Bicycle accidents frequently cause fractures and orthopedic injuries due to the impact of the collision. Cyclists may suffer broken bones in the arms, legs, wrists, or hips, as well as dislocations and soft tissue injuries. These injuries can be painful and debilitating, requiring surgeries, casts, and physical therapy to facilitate healing and restore function. We help our clients pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from these injuries.
  • Facial injuries: Facial injuries are also common in bicycle accidents, particularly if the cyclist is thrown onto the pavement or collides with a vehicle. These injuries may include lacerations, contusions, dental damage, and fractures of the facial bones. In addition to causing physical pain and disfigurement, facial injuries can have psychological and emotional consequences for the victim. We advocate for our clients to receive compensation for both the physical and emotional harm they have endured.
  • Psychological trauma: In addition to physical injuries, bicycle accidents can also result in psychological trauma for the injured individual. The experience of being struck by a vehicle, the pain of injuries, and the fear of future accidents can lead to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions. It is essential for bicycle accident victims to receive comprehensive support and treatment for their psychological well-being in addition to their physical injuries.

Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers serves clients in and around Chicagoland. When you need us, we’re here to help. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer, please call us or fill out our contact form today.