LOGAN SQUARE — Loved ones are circulating an online fundraiser to support the family of a 43-year-old fitness instructor who died last week after a driver hit him while he was riding his bike in Logan Square.
Ron Mendoza was riding his bike around 11:30 p.m. June 5 in the 2600 block of North Pulaski Road when a driver heading south struck him, police said.
Mendoza was initially taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition. He died from his injuries two days later, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The driver told responding officers that Mendoza ran a red light at the time of the crash, but there is no evidence for that claim in initial police reports, according to Streetsblog.
The driver was not cited for any traffic violations, police said.
A GoFundMe launched last week by Jacqueline Hines describes Mendoza as an “instructor, friend, fitness guru, brother, son, cousin, dog dad, plant dad, the list goes on.”
“We will miss his light, and incredible energy every day. Ron brought joy to everyone and helped so many people during his lifetime. His death is a tremendous loss to all of his communities,” Hines said in the fundraiser.
Family also launched a memorial page, where friends, colleagues and coworkers shared tributes to Mendoza.
Hines couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, but GoFundMe spokeswoman Angelique McNaughton said the fundraiser is verified and any money raised “will be safely delivered to the family.”
As of Wednesday evening, the fundraiser had raised more than $15,700 toward its $20,000 goal.
Mendoza lived in nearby Humboldt Park, officials said. Attempts to reach his family were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Memorial services are planned for next weekend, according to the memorial page.
Mendoza is at least the second bicyclist killed in Chicago this year after drivers hit them.
Rick Lomas, a 31-year-old handyman who was reportedly working on getting his U.S. citizenship, died May 7 when a driver hit him in Humboldt Park near the California Clipper.
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