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Family of dead cyclist sues alleged drunken motorist

Robert 'Bobby' Cann  |   Facebook photo

Robert "Bobby" Cann | Facebook photo

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Updated: April 28, 2014 7:53AM



The family of a Groupon employee killed riding his bike in River North last year is suing the man who allegedly went drinking before he hopped behind the wheel of a Mercedes and crashed into the cyclist.

The lawsuit filed by Maria Cann, mother of New Hampshire transplant Robert Cann, also targets a company the driver allegedly worked for that promotes area drink specials through the website AllYouCanDrink.com.

She said her son lost his life to a drunk driver in a city full of trains and “a cab on every corner.”

“Why someone would think it’s acceptable to drink and drive is just mind-boggling,” Cann said.

Ryne San Hamel, 29, of Park Ridge, was driving a 2003 Mercedes S500 southeast on Clybourn on May 29 when he hit the northbound Cann, 26, who was crossing at Larrabee, according to Cann’s lawsuit.

San Hamel had been drinking at area bars before the deadly accident, and his blood alcohol level was 0.127 when it was later tested at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, authorities have said.

His lawyer didn’t return phone calls Wednesday.

Cann, a Chicago resident since 2009 and Groupon employee since 2010, died from multiple injuries in what was ruled an accident by the medical examiner’s office.

San Hamel now faces charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI involving death. He also was issued a citation for failure to stay in the lane, police have said. The new lawsuit also targets AllYouCanDrink LLC, which runs the websites AllYouCanDrink.com and AllYouCanEat.com. It says San Hamel was working at the time for the business, which promotes local drink specials at bars, drink recipes and drinking games.

“That’s one kind of culture that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” said Todd Smith, an attorney with Power, Rogers & Smith representing Cann’s estate.

Maria Cann said her son acted as a father figure to two of his four siblings after his own father died 10 years ago. She said Robert Cann wanted to make the world a better place and she hopes to spare another family the pain hers has felt since last year’s crash.

“I just feel like we have to do something,” Maria Cann said.

Email: jseidel@suntimes.com

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