CHICAGO (CBS) — After onetime child actor Kevin Clark was struck and killed while biking home in Logan Square, his family is fighting to make the intersection where the tragedy happened safer in his name.
Clark was a native of Highland Park. You may remember his face from his role in the 2003 Jack Black movie “School of Rock,” in which he played rocking kid drummer Freddy Jones. At the time, he was 13.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: How Much Will Your Monthly Check Be?
But in 2021 as a man of 32, he was known for a heart that loved lifting up his friends, being a great uncle, and still knowing his way around a drum set.
“It was impossible to be in a bad mood around him,” said Clark’s cousin, Matthew Portman.
Portman met CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra near Western Avenue and Logan Boulevard – in Logan Square near the Kennedy Expressway overpass – to talk about what his family lost. In the early morning hours on Wednesday, May 26, Clark was cycling at that site when he was hit by a car and later died.
“It said ‘the whatever-hundred block of Western Avenue,’” Portman said. “I didn’t need to look it up; like I immediately thought of this intersection.”
Clark’s family’s grief was compounded when they learned the Active Transportation Alliance made a report about the very same intersection in 2018. It stressed the danger of the current intersection and recommended adding more traffic control and dedicated bike lanes.
They sent it to the city, but changes have not happened.READ MORE: Decision Delayed Again On Mental Health Treatment In Jail For Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman
“Everyone in this neighborhood knows it’s a problem. The city knows it’s a problem,” Portman said, “and it’s long past due that something get done to make it safer for everyone.”
We reached out to Chicago’s Department of Transportation. A department spokesman said it will do a post-crash analysis to see what steps could be taken to keep people safer at Logan and Western.
They didn’t say when or how long that might take.
But Clark’s family is channeling their sadness into seeing this through.
“We want to do like Kevin taught us back in the early 2000s and ‘make a little noise,’” Portman said, “and make sure that our elected officials know that we’re done with this being a dangerous problem intersection.”
The 20-year-old woman who was driving the car that hit Clark was not hurt in the crash. She was ticketed by police.MORE NEWS: Mayor Lori Lightfoot Asks Illinois House 'Why Not Wait?' To Vote On 'Deeply Flawed' Elected School Board Plan
This coming Saturday, Clark’s friends and family are holding a vigil at the Logan Square Monument to further call for improving bike safety in this area. More information can be found here.