Family of 3-year-old killed in bike crash suing city of Chicago, ComEd

CHICAGO — A lawsuit is now filed over the death of Lily Shambrook, the 3-year-old girl who was killed when her mother’s bike collided with a semi-truck last June in Uptown. 

“We are going to get justice for Lily and her family, but second, we’re also going to be able to increase awareness for the biking community of Chicago,” said Bradley M. Cosgrove, a partner at Clifford Law Offices

Lily was riding in a safety seat while her mother, Kate Snow, was biking the 1100 block of West Leland Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood on June 9. Snow was taking Lily to daycare, with the girl’s father, Tim, following behind when she encountered an obstruction on the road. 

“That forced Kate to veer into traffic,” said Richard Burke Jr., a partner at Clifford Law Offices.  

As Kate Snow veered into traffic, a semi-truck allegedly pulled off from a stop sign. 

PREVIOUS STORY: Family of 3-year-old killed in bike crash considering legal action against ComEd

According to police, upon impact with the semi’s cab, the bike fell to the ground and the 3-year-old girl was struck by the truck.  

“Tim Shambrook himself and as well as other bystanders had to start chasing the truck and screaming for him to stop,” Burke said.  

The truck was owned by Penske but was operated on June 9 by Mondelez. Both are named in the lawsuit, as is the city of Chicago, with the legal team saying semi-trucks shouldn’t be allowed on certain roadways.  

Mondelez responded to WGN News’ request for comment:

“Our hearts go out to the family who continues to mourn the loss of their daughter. Out of respect for their privacy and the continuing investigation, we have no additional comment at this time.” 

Christina Whitehouse, the founder of Bike Lane Uprising, has been a vocal advocate for cyclists’ safety. 

ComEd is also named as it was their truck blocking the bike lane. Bike Lane Uprising has documented such obstructions, with Whitehouse saying the company is a repeat offender. 

“They’ve now been submitted over 50 times to our database even after Lily’s death in the very same month, they blocked the bike lane again,” she said.  

Whitehouse adds that she tweeted at ComEd before about obstruction issues and got a response in 2019.  

“ComEd responded to that tweet, stating that they would address the issue,” Whitehouse said. “We urged them to train their drivers on the issue.”

But it’s unclear what changed. 

“Her organization has received more than 50 complaints about ComEd vehicles parking in and obstructing bike lanes. That’s actual reports. Can you imagine how many times it’s not reported?” Cosgrove asked.  

The morning of the incident, ComEd was issued a parking permit by the city but it wasn’t for Leland Avenue – it was for nearby Winthrop. Lily’s parents, who were present at Tuesday’s press conference, issued a statement about the lawsuit:

“We have hired Clifford Law Offices to investigate what occurred on June 9, 2022, when a Commonwealth Edison truck was parked blocking the bicycle lane painted on the street while other large vehicles were still allowed to also be in the same area with repairs going on in a residential neighborhood. I have witnessed this type of conduct continue after Lily’s death right in our same neighborhood. People have to care. The city has to care. Corporations have to care. They all need to respect bicycle lanes and the bicyclists using them. Hopefully, this lawsuit will open the eyes of many because we would never want this tragedy to happen to any other family anywhere.” 

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