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School Rallies Behind Family Of Bicyclist Killed In West Loop Crash, Raises More Than $5K On GoFundMe

Following Angela Park’s death, the National Teachers Academy created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to support her family.

Angela Park, 39, was killed when a truck hit her in the West Loop last week.
Mauricio Peña / Provided
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WEST LOOP — A fundraiser for the family of Angela Park — the woman killed in a crash while riding her bike last week in West Loop — has raised more than $5,000 since going online just three days ago.

Following Park’s death, the National Teachers Academy fundraising team created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the family cover funeral costs .

“Angela was the loving mother of two, including her oldest daughter, an NTA student,” the post read.

“The NTA Community grieves with the Parks. Because nothing matters more than family in times of tragedy, our NTA family will support the Parks. Please consider making a donation to help pay for funeral services,” the fundraising team posted on the crowdfunding site.

The campaign created Aug. 10, which aimed to raise $5,000 to assist the family, hit its goal Sunday evening.

At 7:10 a.m. Thursday, Park was traveling north on Halsted Street in Greektown when a dump truck driver made a right turn onto Madison and hit her at 727 W. Madison St., officials said.

Park was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she died shortly after the crash at 7:33 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The truck’s driver was cited for striking a pedestrian in the roadway, Officer Christine Calace said. The dump truck was marked as a Lakeshore Recycling Systems truck. Police did not release the name of the driver.

Since 2005, Park worked as a fitness instructor at Chicago Athletic Clubs.

In a statement, Chicago Athletic Clubs owner Pat Cunningham said Park held roles in the club’s personal training, aquatics and group fitness departments and was a triathlon coach, “an area of fitness she was especially passionate about,” Cunningham said.

“Angela was known as an inspiring instructor and coach by all that had the pleasure of working with her. We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” he said. “Angela will be deeply missed by the CAC community and, of course, CAC staff — many of which were close personal friends of Angela’s as well as her family.”

A friend of Park’s who declined to be named said that Park worked also had her own fitness group that she operated called Spark Multi-Sport Coaching. On Thursday afternoon, the friend said members of the Spark group, several who went on regular jogs or runs with Park, found out about the tragedy and were devastated.

According to Park’s Chicago Athletic Clubs bio, she began her fitness career as a swim instructor in the ’90s.

Park completed more than 100 triathlons, including two Ironman distance races, and was part of Team USA at the 2015 ITU Age Group World Championships, according to the athletic club bio.

Kristen Green, a member of the cycling community and an organizer for Ghosts Bikes Chicago, said she started to cry as soon as she heard about Park’s tragic death. With Ghost Bikes Chicago, she installs white bikes as permanent memorials where cyclists have died. 

“As people talked on different cycling message boards about details of the crash, my heart just sank,” she said.

After some time has passed, she plans to reach out to Park’s family to see if they want a ghost bike put at the intersection.

Lakeshore Recycling Systems did not return calls Thursday.

A 44-story apartment tower is being built near the crash site at 1 S. Halsted St. next to the Crowne Plaza. Concrete construction barriers currently line the streets.