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Woman Fatally Struck On Busy Milwaukee Avenue Bike Lane

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A young art student bicycling to town died Tuesday morning, when she was hit and dragged by an 18-wheeler.

It happened in the busy bike lanes along Milwaukee Avenue, just north of Racine, CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports.

The bikeway here is proudly called one of the nation's busiest; but as bikes, cars, and construction crews converge at this spot, it proved to be deadly.

At rush hour, as many as 600 bicyclists every 60 minutes travel the designated lanes along Milwaukee Avenue.

This morning, 20-year-old Lisa Kuivinen was one of them -- a talented young woman, filled with so much joy and promise, friends said.

"She was a geniunely good person," said Vicka Xaika. "She was always very happy."

Kuivinen, of Rolling Meadows, was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who expressed herself in comics and animation. She also loved to dance and performed often in recitals, said Xaika, who was Kuivinen's dance instructor.

"She was an amazing dancer," Xaika said. "Very talented all around. She was very unique, very bold and lots of character."

The accident happened at 8:15 a.m.

Police say Kuivinen was headed toward the city when she was hit and dragged by an 18 wheeler that traveled into the bike lane.

Neighbors say this is an especially busy and confusing section of Milwaukee Avenue.

Building construction has crews, motorists and bicyclists sharing an already congested roadway.

"It makes me wary of biking around here now," one cyclist said.

The truck driver, a 37-year-old man, was cited for driving a vehicle on the bike path and failure to exercise due care to avoid a pedestrian in the roadway, police said.

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