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River North, Gold Coast, Near North Side

Bicyclist Injured In River North Hit-And-Run Asks For Help Finding Driver

“My goal is the bring this person to justice for hitting me and leaving me out there," the bicyclist said. "He could have killed me."

File Photo: A cyclist on the bike lane is silhouetted on Milwaukee Avenue in March 3, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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RIVER NORTH — A cyclist whose clavicle was broken in a hit-and-run earlier this month in River North wants to find the driver who hit him.

The bicyclist, Travis Nelson, is still recovering from the crash and worries the driver could have killed him — or might kill someone else.

The crash happened about 2 p.m. Aug. 1, when Nelson was riding a bike near the 700 block of North LaSalle Street. Someone in a black SUV hit Nelson, sending him into a parked car, police said.

The driver of the SUV took off and was last seen turning onto Chicago Avenue and going west, police said.

Nelson’s clavicle was broken and he had to have surgery. He has a long recovery ahead of him and said he wants to find the driver to prevent others from being injured.

“My goal is the bring this person to justice for hitting me and leaving me out there,” Nelson said this week. “He could have killed me.”

There is no description of the driver, who was possibly in a BMW, police said.

There is video of the crash, Nelson said, but officers told him they could not give it to him. An investigation is ongoing.

Most of the activities Nelson used to enjoy are no longer a possibility because of his injury. 

“I’m now denied the ability to get out there and do something active other than walking,” Nelson said. “I can’t run, I can’t do a pushup, I can’t ride my bike. Typing for work is incredibly difficult because it’s one-handed. The whole thing is just miserable.”

Wearing a helmet probably saved Nelson’s life, he said. The intersection where the driver hit him does not have a bike lane, and it would “be nice” if Chicago had more, he said.

Nelson also worries the driver could injure or kill another bicyclist since he or she hasn’t been found.

“What if the next person — that, that person hits and guns it –– isn’t wearing a helmet or maybe falls at a slightly different angle and breaks their neck, cracks their skull, dies?” Nelson said. “This person thinks it’s OK to run someone off the road and potentially seriously injure and/or kill them. They haven’t learned a lesson.”

Anyone with information about the crash can call detectives at 312-744-8263 or submit tips anonymously online.

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