Hit-and-run driver killed Pablo Rodriguez, 55, on bike in East Side community

With the hit-and-run killing of Pablo Rodriguez, 55, struck on his bike in the East Side community, Chicago has lost six cyclists to traffic violence this year.

According to police, on Thursday, August 11, at about 6:15 a.m., this driver fatally struck Rodriguez from behind as he bicycled north under a viaduct in the 9900 block of South Avenue L (3600 E.) According to witnesses, the driver was in a black van, and they fled north on Avenue L.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Rodriguez’s home address is unknown, but his next of kin have been notified of his death.

Avenue L is the north-south street shown in blue (non-protected bike lanes) and yellow (sharrows) north of 100th Street on the city’s bike map. However, the stretch of bike lanes north of the crash site were eliminated when the street was repaved. Image: CDOT

There are three viaducts in this location, for the Chicago Skyway and two railroad right-of-ways. This stretch of Avenue L is identified as a bike route on the city of Chicago’s bike map, and the area in the underpasses is marked with bike-and-chevron “shared-lane makings,” also known as “sharrows,” which studies have found have little to no impact on safety.

Looking south on Avenue L towards the viaducts in August 2011 after the bike lanes were striped, and in July 2019, after the street was repaved without replacing the lanes. Images: Google Maps

The bike map shows non-protected bike lanes north of the viaducts. However, a July 2019 Google Street View image shows that the bike lanes hadn’t been replaced after the street was repaved.

Rodriguez’s death was the second hit-and-run fatality in Chicago this week. On Wednesday, August 10, Taha Khan, 5, died after a Jeep SUV driver struck him at Devon and Cicero avenues in Sauganash, and then a Volvo driver hit the child.

Sign the Safe Streets for All petition demanding action from your alderpersons, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and the Chicago Department of Transportation to address Chicago’s traffic fatality epidemic.

Fatality Tracker: 2022 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets (including one scooter-on-sidewalk case)

Pedestrian: 22
Bicyclist: 6

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on media reports and/or preliminary Chicago Police Department data.

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2022 Chicago pedestrian fatality cases (including one scooter-on-sidewalk case)

On August 10, 2022, Taha Khan, 5, died after he was struck by a hit-and-run Jeep SUV driver at Devon and Cicero avenues in the Sauganash neighborhood, and then hit by a Volvo driver.
On August 5, 2022, a 14-year-old girl standing at a bus stop was killed after a Mercedes driver ran a red at 79th Street and Racine Avenue in Auburn Gresham, striking a Jeep, which careened onto the sidewalk. Three other people were injured in the crash.
On August 2, 2022, a man died after he was crossing the street in the 4000 block of West 5th Avenue in West Garfield Park when a hit-and-run driver struck him, and another motorist ran over him.
On July 30, 2022, a driver struck and killed Octavio Bahena Urquiza, 38, on the 4500 block of West Diversey Avenue and fled the scene.
On July 4, 2022, a Jeep driver reportedly struck and killed a man on the 3200 block of South Pulaski Road in Little Village and fled the scene.
On June 16, 2022, a hit-and-run driver struck and killed a Ja’lon James, 11, as he crossed the street in the 3300 block of West 16th Street in North Lawndale.
On June 12, 2022, a distracted Nissan Altima sedan driver fatally struck Peter Paquette, 75, at Irving Park Road and Hoyne Avenue in North Center.
On June 2, 2022, an SUV driver struck and killed 2-year-old Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas at Eastwood Avenue and Leavitt Street in Lincoln Square as the toddler rode a mini-scooter into the intersection.
On May 27, 2022, a Honda sedan driver fatally struck Wilberto Rivera, 76, as he crossed North Avenue at Albany Avenue. He died from his injuries two weeks later on June 11.
On May 27, 2022, a hit-and-run SUV driver fatally struck Martha Velazquez, 34, on the 2900 block of West Columbus Avenue in Ashburn.
On May 19, 2022, a motorcyclist fatally struck Timothy Kast, 46, as he crossed the 5300 block of West Irving Park Road in Portage Park.
On May 11, 2022, a BMW sedan driver struck and killed 82-year-old Concepcion Lopez, as she waited at a CTA bus stop on the 2100 block of West Peterson in West Ridge.
On May 10, 2022, a left-turning van driver failed to yield to failed to yield to Berta Arroyo Salgado, 73, as she crossed the street in a crosswalk at Chicago Avenue and Paulina Street in West Town, killing the senior.
On May 6, 2022, a Cadillac sedan driver ran a red light at Roosevelt Road and Damen Avenue on the Near West Side, struck another vehicle, and careened onto the sidewalk, killing a 33-year-old man.
On April 17, 2022, a left-turning sedan driver fatally struck Yehuala Melkama, 44, as she walked in a crosswalk at Hazel and Sunnyside avenues in Uptown.
On March 27, 2022, an SUV driver struck and killed Larry J. Davis, 68, at 3350 S. Kedzie Ave. in Little Village.
On March 17, 2022, a left-turning driver struck and killed Miriam M. Grande, 70, at Grand and Austin avenues in the Belmont Central neighborhood and fled the scene.
On March 15, 2022, a car driver fatally struck Allen Lee Jr., 88, as he attempted to cross Western Avenue at 109th Street in Morgan Park.
On February 8, 2022, a Chicago police officer struck Javion Marquel Johnson, 20, with an SUV after Johnson had been shot multiple times, potentially contributing to his death, at 12111 S. Stewart Avenue in Rosehill.
On January 20, 2022, a hit-and-run driver fatally struck Richard Haljean, 57, as he crossed Touhy Avenue at Oriole Avenue in Edison Park.
On January 15, 2022 Angel Thomas, 35, was walking to her car on the 4300 block of West Jackson Boulevard in West Garfield Park when an SUV driver fatally struck her and fled.
On January 12, 2022, an SUV driver struck and killed Deborah Renee Jones, 67, in the 6800 block of South Stony Island in South Shore.

2022 Chicago bike fatality cases

On August 11, 2022, a van driver struck and killed Pablo Rodriguez, 55, near 99th Street and Avenue L in the East Side community and fled the scene.
On June 24, 2022, a cargo van driver fatally struck Joshua Avina-Luna, 15, near 62nd Street and Austin Avenue in the Clearing neighborhood
On June 9, 2022, a semi truck driver ran over and killed Elizabeth “Lily” Grace Shambrook, 3, riding in a child seat on the back of her mother’s bike at Leland and Winthrop avenues in Uptown. The mother was uninjured.
On May 4, 2022, a Nissan Versa sedan driver fatally struck Nick Parlingayan, 22, on his bike at Milwaukee and Kilbourn avenues in Irving Park.
On April 16, 2022, an allegedly intoxicated hit-and-run Volkswagen Jetta driver fatally struck Paresh Chhatrala, 42, near Madison and Peoria streets in the West Loop.
On February 28, 2022, a BMW sedan driver ran a red light at Balbo Drive and DuSable Lake Shore Drive in the Loop, fatally striking Gerardo Marciales, 41, on a Divvy bike.

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