CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A woman died after she was hit by a truck while riding a Divvy bicycle Friday morning in the Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side, marking the first fatality involving the bike-rental system since it launched in 2013.
The truck and the bicyclist were both traveling north on Sacramento and turning east onto Belmont just after 9 a.m. when the truck ran over the woman, according to Chicago Police.
Virginia Murray, 25, suffered head trauma and was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 9:58 a.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She lived in the 1200 block of North Marion Court.
It was not immediately clear whether any citations or charges would be issued in connection with the crash, but the police Major Accidents Investigation Unit was investigating Friday morning.
“Divvy and the City of Chicago express our deepest condolences to the rider’s family and loved ones,” the Chicago Department of Transportation said in a statement.
The accident marks the first fatality on the Divvy system in nearly 8 million rides since it launched three years ago.
“I want to extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victims. We were really saddened to hear about the crash,” said Jim Merrell, advocacy director for the Active Transportation Alliance.
“What we have seen overall with the bike share system in Chicago is that it has enjoyed a really good safety record,” Merrell said. “The rate of crashes among bike share systems is lower than other people biking. And so we know that bike sharing overall is a very safe way to get around.”
Merell said the city is working on a plan for “Vision Zero,” which is a policy goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities, including people walking, people biking or people driving in cars.
“We look forward to supporting those efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities so hopefully in the future we don’t have to have conversations like this,” Merrell said.
The North American Bikeshare Association said the accident was the nation’s first recorded death using a involving a bike sharing program.
“This is the first time that we’ve lost someone from our bikeshare community in the eight years that bikeshare has operated in the United States,” the group said in a statement. “Today’s loss extends beyond Chicago and into the hearts and homes across the nation.”