Woman charged with killing bicyclist in DUI crash on North Side

Kali Rynearson | Cook County sheriff’s office

CHICAGO — A North Center woman was released on electronic monitoring Saturday after prosecutors accused her of striking and killing a bicyclist while driving under the influence in Lincoln Square.

Prosecutors had asked Judge David Kelly to keep 30-year-old Kali Rynearson in custody as a flight risk and a public safety risk, according to court records. Kelly denied both petitions.

Donald Heggemann, 59, was riding northbound in a bike lane in the 5100 block of North Damen when a driver ran a red light and struck him around 8 p.m. on October 23, officials said. The driver’s vehicle forced him into a parked car, causing extensive injuries that led to his death, a Chicago police report said.

CPD officers detained Rynearson within minutes after witnesses directed them to her car as she continued driving. Rynearson’s blood alcohol concentration was .20, well above the .08 legal limit, according to the crash report. In Rynearson’s arrest report, an officer said police found a half-empty bottle of Jim Beam bourbon in her purse.

Rynearson was cited and released from custody after the crash. Prosecutors subsequently approved additional charges and sought her detention in court on Saturday afternoon.

She is charged with aggravated DUI causing death and seven traffic infractions, including failure to reduce speed, driving in a bike lane and transporting liquor while driving. 

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