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Driver charged in 16-bike pileup near Libertyville
By Bob Susnjara | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/27/2007 11:39 AM

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A Florida man is accused of causing a 16-bicycle pileup after cutting in front of the group on St. Mary's Road in Libertyville Township, authorities said.

Lake County sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Thompson said the incident happened about 9:05 a.m. Saturday. He said three bikers suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Thomas Lynch, 57, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged with improper lane usage and failure to provide aid and information. The charges are misdemeanors.

Lynch was driving a 1996 GMC Sierra truck north on St. Mary's Road near Everett Road when he passed the bicyclists on the left, cut back to the right lane and slammed his brakes, Thompson said today.

All 16 bikers fell in a pileup to avoid the truck, Thompson said, with some winding up in a ditch.

Chris McNally, 31, and Grant Davis, 26, both of Chicago, were treated for minor injuries. Thompson said Robert Willems, 39, of Chicago, was treated at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

Lynch kept driving after the cyclists went down and then telephoned sheriff's police to report side-view mirror damage. Thompson said Lynch followed a direction to return to the crash scene.

Thomson said Lynch first told deputies he heard a thump while he was driving and thought a bicyclist punched his truck. Police said Lynch later stated he jammed his brakes in front of the bikers because he didn't want to hit a squirrel.

Read more about the story in Friday's Daily Herald.