DOWNTOWN — The latest rescue for NBC's "Chicago Fire" is a bicyclist hit in a crash near Millennium Park.
The Tuesday night drama was filming Monday morning near the Illinois Center at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street. The scene involved a bicyclist lying in the street while the show's stars pry open a plumber's truck that hit the bike and a smoking car.
Monday's filming arrived after several high-profile bike fatalities in Chicago, and like "Law & Order" and other Dick Wolf shows, "Chicago Fire" is often inspired by real events. Six bicyclists have been killed by drivers so far this year in the city, according to the Active Transportation Alliance.
"Any time we can draw attention to preventable collisions it's a positive thing," said Jim Merrell, advocacy director of the alliance.
About five to 10 bicyclists are killed by a driver every year in Chicago, but the scene in "Chicago Fire" shows rising awareness of the issue as more people bike here, Merrell said. Like the scene, most of the fatal collisions this year involved a commercial truck.
In August, Francisco Cruz, 58, was killed by a car while biking in Garfield Park and 20-year-old Lisa Kuivinen was struck and killed by a truck near a construction site on Milwaukee Avenue in River West.
The nation's first bike-share fatality happened in July, when 25-year-old Virginia Murray was hit by a flatbed truck while riding a Divvy bike in Avondale.
In June, Logan Square man Blaine Klingenberg died after being hit by a double-decker bus while riding along the Magnificent Mile.
Despite the headlines, biking is getting safer in Chicago as more people ride here, Merrell said. The city debuted Divvy and has opened many new protected bike lanes in recent years, as well as the 606 trail. Bicycling magazine named Chicago the best "bike city in America" last month.
"Chicago Fire" producers said Monday's scene will likely air in five to six weeks.
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