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In 'Tragic Start To Year,' Cyclist Hit, Killed By Car In Humboldt

By  Kelly Bauer and Mina Bloom | January 12, 2017 8:02am | Updated on January 12, 2017 12:56pm

 The cyclist was riding in the 3000 block of West Division Street when he was struck and killed.
The cyclist was riding in the 3000 block of West Division Street when he was struck and killed.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

CHICAGO — In what Chicago cyclists are calling a "tragic start to the year," a man was hit and killed while riding his bike in Humboldt Park Wednesday night. 

At 10:38 p.m., the cyclist was riding in the 3000 block of West Division Street at Sacramento Avenue when he was struck by a 36-year-old man driving a Chevy Cruise, police said.

The cyclist was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified the cyclist at 34-year-old Jezniah Smith.

Neighbor Sean Williams told the transportation blog Streetsblog Smith appeared to be middle-aged and riding a hybrid bike. Williams added that he may have been wearing an orange safety vest.

Chicago's cyclist community is in mourning following the fatal crash.

"As a part of the Chicago cycling community, I am deeply saddened to hear we lost one of our own last night," said Yasmeen Schuller, president of The Chainlink, an online community and resource for cyclists.

"This is a tragic start to the new year and I hope through driver awareness, law enforcement and improved infrastructure, we can make the necessary changes to prevent tragedies like this from happening."

Wednesday night saw freezing rain, which created icy roads. But it's unclear if the icy roads were a factor.

Jim Merrell, spokesman for Active Transportation Alliance, said while people shouldn't be afraid to bike in the winter, "obviously there's a lot more work to do until we get the fatality numbers down to 0."

"Anytime there's a fatality on our roadway, it's a tragedy, not just because of the heartbreaking loss of life, but because we know that each and every fatality is preventable," Merrell added.

As of Thursday afternoon, no tickets have been issued, police said. No one else was injured.

An investigation is ongoing.

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