Crash scene during Mount Prospect Police Department Major Case Assistance Team’s Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team investigation (looking southeast from Melas Park).
The family of Mount Prospect resident Joni Beaudry, fatally struck by an SUV while out for a bicycle ride near Melas Park in northwest suburban Mount Prospect last year has filed a lawsuit against the driver.
Eric T. Jakubowski filed the wrongful death suit on Friday, January 13, 2017 in Cook County Circuit Court and seeks more than $100,000 in damages against the driver of the SUV that struck his wife, Joni Beaudry.
Beaudry, at age 55, was crossing Central Road at Weller Lane with her bicycle in the crosswalk about 9:41 a.m. June 9, 2016 when she was struck by a black Lexus SUV, according to Mount Prospect police.
Beaudry was transported to Level I Trauma Center Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where she was pronounced dead about nine hours later at 6:45 p.m.
The driver of the SUV, Hanna Burzynska, age 56, of Elk Grove Village was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian and driving too fast for conditions, according to Mount Prospect police. Beaudry activated a safety crossing signal at the intersection before crossing Central Road. A button activates a rapid flashing beacon system. Burzynska, who was traveling 40 mph in a 35-mph zone, did not stop while driving eastbound on Central Road through the crosswalk.
The two-count suit filed Friday alleges the driver caused Beaudry’s death by failing to keep a lookout for pedestrians and driving carelessly. A second count seeks damages under survival action, which claims Beaudry would have been entailed to damages for pain and suffering had she survived.
The Mount Prospect Police Department crash investigation team also found that the cyclist’s crossing as a pedestrian was also a contributing factor to the fatal crash because state traffic law requires pedestrians to enter the roadway only when it is safe.
The pedestrian crossing underwent a safety improvement upgrade in 2015 — one year before the fatal crash. The improvements included a pedestrian refuge island, the rectangular rapid flashing beacon system, asphalt bike path, new signs, and new pavement markings. The safety improvements intended to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists with the center island and shorter crossing distance for each segment of the crosswalk. The flashing lights were constructed with the intention of alerting motorists to stop, and to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to safely cross Central Road.
Mount Prospect received $92,400 for The Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS), which is a federally funded program that looks to promote and improve walking/biking to and from school. Melas Park, is on the north side of Central Road, and the neighborhood includes Westbrook School, St. Raymond School, and Lincoln Junior High School nearby.
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