Police are still trying to learn more about a fatal accident in a Cook County forest preserve that left a 68-year-old bicyclist dead after a dog’s leash became entangled with his bicycle and caused him to crash to the ground. The victim, Wladyslaw “Walter” Bujak, of Northbrook, died on Wednesday, five days after the accident, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s police. The Cook County medical examiner’s office found that Bujak died from multiple injuries sustained from his fall.
Bujak’s daughter, Beta Bowak, said that her father loved the outdoors and rode his bicycle whenever possible. On September 27, Bujak was riding on a trail in the Harms Woods Forest Preserve close to the intersection of Old Orchard and Harms roads, as he had done many times, according to his daughter.
Around 1:15 pm, a dog’s leash somehow became wrapped around Bujak’s bicycle, according to police. Bujak, who was wearing a helmet, flew off the bike and suffered injuries to his head and neck when he fell to the ground. A number of passers-by stopped to help Bujak, including an off-duty Highland Park firefighter-paramedic, before the Glenview Fire Department transferred him to a hospital.
According to police, the owner of the dog that caused the accident untangled the leash from the bike and then left the scene. Investigators have been unable to identify the dog owner, but they are seeking witnesses to determine exactly what happened, according to Sophia Ansari, the spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.
Nowak said that her father was just about to celebrate his 69th birthday. Born in Poland, he had been fascinated with bicycles for as long as 44-year-old Nowak an remember. “It was always his hobby,” she added. “If there is anybody that saw the accident happen, please come forward. We’re seeking closure, and we’d just like to know what happened,” said Nowak. Ansari asks anyone with information about the accident to call 708-865-4896.