CHICAGO (WLS) -- A person of interest is being questioned after a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run in the Old Irving Park neighborhood Wednesday night, Chicago police said.
The 23-year-old victim was hit by a car around 9:30 p.m. in the 3800-block of North Milwaukee Avenue, police said.
As a result of the impact, he fell off his bike and hit his head according to police. He was later pronounced dead at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
The victim has been identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Nick Parlingayan.
"I said I won't believe it until I see him," Gigi Javier, Paringayan's mother, said. "I still want to believe or hope that's it's not him but I guess that's not going to happen."
Parlingayan's family placed flowers near the intersection of N. Milwaukee and Kilbourn Thursday.
"One of the smartest kids I know," said his stepfather, Ariel Javier. "Very helpful, very generous. Everybody was....they loved, they loved him. He was such a good kid, such a young age for him to go this way."
Parlingayan's longtime neighbor Stuart Henrichs described him as a hard worker who always greeted people with a big smile.
"I mean, he was a good person," Henrichs said. "I mean, you don't come across that too often anymore and he was a very kind person."
The car fled northbound on Milwaukee Avenue, police said. In a community alert, police said the vehicle is a 2020 to 2022 black Nissan Versa.
"People blow through this light over here all the time," Kim Payne, neighbor, said. "And there's a problem. They speed down this road. It's tragic."
Police said the Nissan should have front passenger bumper damage as well as headlight damage.
"Please, if you have a conscience, turn yourself in," Javier said.
Bicyclist Patrick Wyatt said a construction project near the scene has made the area dangerous for cyclists.
"Before it was fine when you ride your bike through here but now that they've got this construction right here, they got it down to one lane and there's really no bike lanes, so I mean I'm not surprised that somebody got hit over here," Wyatt said.
Alex Perez, with Active Transportation Alliance, said painted bike lanes are not protection.
"Paint is one thing done, but it's not protection," Perez said. "Pillars that are plastic are one thing, but they are not protection. What we advocate for is concrete protecting bike lanes that way when you are in a bike lane there is some physical protection."
So far this year, at least three bicyclists have been killed in Chicago. And the city's data shows, last year, more than 1,600 cyclists were involved in crashes.
The crash occurred in the same intersection where a ghost bike memorial is chained to a pole in memory of Carla Aiello, a woman who was killed after being hit by a dump truck back in 2019.
"Something has to be done," Kim Payne, neighbor, said. "I mean it has to be safer out here. It's very tragic."
Biking advocates said they will fight to make sure this stretch of Milwaukee Avenue is safer in hopes of preventing another death.
Bicyclist killed in Old Irving Park hit-and-run crash; person of interest ID'd, police say
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