CHICAGO — A 20-year-old Bridgeport man died after he was hit by a car while riding his bike near his home Thursday night, police said.
Around 11 p.m., the man was riding westbound through the 700 block of West 33rd Street when he failed to stop at a red light and was struck by a southbound Jeep Wrangler, said Officer Ana Pacheco, a Chicago police spokeswoman.
The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, she said.
He was identified as Jacob Bass, of the 900 block of West 34th Street, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
The driver of the car was ticketed for not having a valid license, Pacheco said.
David Ziemba, 20, was returning home with his girlfriend when he heard a loud boom. When he peeked outside his window he saw a chaotic scene, with Bass lying on the ground with his backpack and shoes scattered a few feet away as a frantic friend of Bass stood panicked over him.
"He was crying and yelling 'Wake up wake up' and 'He's my best friend,'" Ziemba said. "Everyone was distressed. It was unbelievable and really emotional for me and my girlfriend."
Ziemba called police immediately. Once officers arrived Ziemba and his girlfriend prayed for the young man as the emergency crews responded, he said.
Ziemba said the corner is a dangerous place for cyclists and drivers alike, adding that his friend was struck by a car at the same point almost a week before but was able to walk away from the accident with only a few scratches. He said the community has been adding more bike lanes recently and he's had several close encounters with cyclists while he's been driving.
Jack Murray, an avid cyclist who lives down the block from the accident scene, heard the horrific crash and rushed downstairs, but immediately knew he was too late to help.
"I came downstairs a few seconds after it happened and you could tell the poor kid was gone. It was horrible," Murray said.
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