Teen bicyclist still in hospital after hit by truck Wednesday in Batavia

A teen bicyclist was hit in the crosswalk of Batavia and Union avenues on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

The teen boy who was critically injured after being hit by a truck while crossing South Batavia Avenue (Route 31) on his bike Wednesday continues to be treated in a hospital on Thursday, according to Batavia Police Chief Shawn Mazza.

Mazza said in an email that he’s going to “keep the hope that all turns out well.”

“The case is still being actively investigated. The accident reconstruction process is underway and is very technical as far as data analytics is concerned. Additionally, the processing of evidence is going to take time too,” Mazza said in an email Thursday afternoon.

A GMC Denali truck struck the teen, who was on a bicycle, in the intersection of South Batavia and Union avenues about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, Batavia police announced in a news release.

The boy was critically injured and taken to an area hospital, according to the release.

The truck was traveling south on South Batavia Avenue when it struck the boy on the bike, who was traveling west on Union Avenue within the crosswalk.

The driver was not injured.

It was the second serious accident involving a bicyclist and vehicle in just over a week. A woman was also critically injured on May 23 while riding a bike on South Batavia Avenue near Millview Drive.

City Administrator Laura Newman issued a statement Thursday about residents’ concerns about the two accidents along the same roadway:

“The city of Batavia is deeply saddened by the tragic accidents that have occurred on IL Rte. 31 over the past two weeks.

Following both incidents, the city has received an outpouring of concern from residents, many of whom are angry and frustrated that more had not been done before these accidents occurred to make crossing Rte. 31 safer. As a state route, Rte. 31 is not under the city’s control. The Illinois Department of Transportation controls what can and cannot be done on the road. Recently, IDOT has accepted the findings of a report demonstrating that a road diet is feasible on Rte. 31, which would greatly enhance the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the road.

The U.S. Department of Transportation explains the road diet approach as narrowing travel lanes or shoulders or eliminating some of them to provide more space for pedestrians and bicyclists. A typical road diet consists of converting a four-lane roadway (two in each direction) to a three-lane (one in each direction plus a center turn lane) and adding sidewalks or bicycle lanes.

In light of the recent serious accidents, the city plans to request IDOT to expedite their review for the road diet so that we may get that implemented as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will renew our requests to IDOT for additional safety measures, enlisting the support of our elected officials and residents.”

An update on the road diet project is on the agenda for the June 13 Committee of the Whole meeting. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.