In the frigidly cold late evening hours on December 6, 2013, Hector Avalos, 28, a former marine and aspiring chef, was returning home by bike from his job at a River North restaurant in Chicago.
That same evening, Robert Vais, 54, an administrator at Stroger Hospital, was returning home in his white minivan after leaving a holiday party in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood.
By all accounts, both Avalos and Vais were travelling in the same southwest-bound direction along Ogden Ave. west of Western Ave., where Ogden travels under a viaduct.
Near the west side of the viaduct, Vais struck Avalos from behind with his vehicle, crushing the rear wheel of the bike and throwing Avalos up onto the hood of the van.
The impact crushed the hood of Vais’ car and...