Lawyer Biking to Work Swerves to Avoid Car Door, Is Struck and Killed by Semitrailer Truck

A 32-year-old Chicago lawyer was struck and killed by a semitrailer truck as he bicycled to work Friday morning.

Neill Townsend was an avid biker who loved his job at as head of operations at the Minimal Inc. design firm on the city’s near West Side, the Chicago Tribune reports. He lived on the near North Side.

He was always on time, so co-workers worried when he didn’t show up at a meeting, said Scott Wilson, who serves as CEO of the firm. “We were just saying he probably cared more about the company than anything else.’’ Wilson said. “He always had great ideas. I’m just glad I got to know him. He will be greatly missed, both as an employee and as a friend.”

Authorities said Townsend swerved to avoid being hit by a driver’s door opening into the street from a Nissan Altima around 9 a.m., then was either knocked off or fell off, under the truck’s wheels. The driver of the Altima was cited for opening the door into traffic, the Chicago Sun-Times reports..

Townsend told co-workers, he had had a number of close calls with cars and other cyclists while biking around the city, the Tribune recounts. “It’s not a bike-friendly city, unfortunately,” Wilson said.

A WBEZ article says Townsend’s death has focused concern from the biking community about their safety on the city’s roads.

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