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Bicyclist loses balance at stoplight, falls under wheel of dump truck

Jacqueline Marie Michon

Jacqueline Marie Michon

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Updated: August 6, 2011 10:36PM

Jacqueline Michon, a new Lake View resident, “was trying to take Chicago for all that it was worth,” a friend said Saturday, but a freak accident took her life as she was riding her bicycle back from the Lollapalooza music concert.

Michon, a 25-year-old fitness instructor, was riding north on Wabash about 10:45 p.m. Friday when she rode between a car and a truck that had stopped for a red light at Wacker Drive.

Witnesses said she lost her balance and fell under the rear axle of the truck. When the light turned green, the truck took off before she could get out from under the wheels.

“It’s a tragic accident,” Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said. “It appears from witnesses . . . the bicyclist had lost her footing and slipped under the wheels.”

A witness alerted the truck driver, who stopped and remained on the scene, Mirabelli said. Police were still investigating, but no charges had been filed by Saturday night.

Michon, originally from Novi, Mich., had a degree in marketing from Western Michigan University and worked for a company that ran corporate fitness centers. She had trained employees of Paramount Studios in Los Angeles and had transferred to Chicago about a year ago to work at Abbott Laboratories Diagnostics Division and at the Kellogg Co.

She was also a trainer for the I.A.M. Outdoor BootCamp, where her online biography said she “has been interested in fitness and nutrition for as long as she can remember.”

“She cared about people, she wanted to help them better themselves, and that’s what she did,” said Joshua Berngard, a roommate of Michon’s cousin.

When Michon wanted to come to Chicago, Berngard found an apartment for her in his building at Belmont and Clark.

Berngard said Michon had attended Lollapalooza with five friends who were visiting from California. After the concert, she took her bike and her friends took the L.

“They were going to meet at the house,” Berngard said, but wound up being locked out of the apartment all night.

Michon’s family found out about her death from her boyfriend, who had been sending text messages to her phone and was contacted by police, Berngard said.

Michon’s friends from California declined to comment, as did her family.

Berngard described her as “very carefree, very down to earth, always ready to do anything, she even did the Polar Bear Plunge. She was trying to take Chicago for all that it was worth, have all the experiences she could.”

Contributing: Sun-Times News Wire

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