On Wednesday, May 29, at approximately 6:35 p.m., Robert “Bobby” Cann was riding his bike on the 1300 block of North Clybourn Street when he was struck by a vehicle being driven by a Park Ridge man named Ryne San Hamel.
Bobby was critically injured, and although several witnesses, passers by and nearby shop owners rushed to his aid, he was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.
San Hamel was charged with reckless homicide, felony aggravated driving under the influence involving a death, and other misdemeanor charges, according to police.
According to prosecutors, San Hamel was doing 20 mph over the speed limit, or over 50 mph in a 30 mph zone and his blood alcohol level was .127 at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Illinois is .08.
By all accounts, Bobby was a warm and caring individual with deep roots in the Chicago cycling community, who thrived on sharing his love of cycling and Chicago with family, friends, coworkers and the general public.
He was described as an ambassador and advocate not just for cycling, but for safe cycling. He also just sounded like an all around great guy.
I’m sorry that I never met him, I’m sorry that I’ll never have that chance, and on behalf of the staff at Active Trans, I want to extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, loved ones and coworkers.
As for San Hamel, there’s no excuse for his actions. We all want to see justice served, for Bobby, for his family, for his friends, but most of all for society.
What we do not want to see the death of another cyclist or pedestrian treated as “just one of those things that happens." We don't want the charges drastically lessened or see Bobby's death reduced to a misdemeanor affair.
If the evidence supports it, we want the state's attorney's office to know that we support them in prosecuting San Hamel for reckless homicide and felony aggravated driving under the influence involving a death. And if he is found guilty, we do not want to see San Hamel behind the wheel of a car ever again.
Update: Bobby’s coworkers at Groupon have set up a campaign to collect donations to fund Active Trans' Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign to build support for better bikeways in Chicago. Please consider supporting this effort.
Photo of Bobby Cann memorial event courtesy of Steven Vance and Streetsblog Chicago.