By Erica Demarest and Paul Biasco on July 4, 2014 9:31am | Updated on July 4, 2014 4:20pm
PORTAGE PARK — The 28-year-old cyclist killed in a Northwest Side crash Thursday loved tattoos and body piercings and was struck just feet from the apartment where she grew up as a child.
Barbara “Barbie” Eno, described as a “sweetheart” and an animal lover, started riding her bike four years ago and rode it everywhere, said her older sister, Chrissy Eno.
“She loved riding her bike all the time,” Chrissy Eno said. “I always used to tell her to be careful.”
Barbie Eno was on her way back from the Secretary of State’s office Thursday morning with a new ID card, as hers had been stolen the day before, her sister said.
She was riding her bike northbound on Cicero Avenue when a cement truck turning right onto Belmont Avenue clipped her about 10:35 a.m., police and witnesses said.
The truck’s driver pulled over and stayed with Eno until an ambulance came.
Eno, who lived with her father and step-mother in the 4800 block of West Addison Street, was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center at 11:31 a.m. Thursday. An autopsy performed Friday showed she died of multiple injuries from the accident, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
She also lived with her two cats, Mama and Baby, which her sister joked were the only names she could come up with for her beloved animals.
Friday, Chrissy Eno, placed a stuffed koala bear with a rosary around its neck at a memorial at the crash site.
She pointed to the window of the apartment building where she and Barbie grew up directly across the street.
“Barbie” was the godmother of one of Chrissy Eno’s three children.
“I was hoping one day to be an aunt too,” Chrissy Eno said. “Circumstances didn’t call for it.”
Eno had bold, colorful tattoos along her arms that she often showed off during the summer, said longtime neighbor Phyllis Howard, adding that the 28-year-old was learning how to tattoo.
She was also an amateur body piercing artist and had a piercing above her upper lip.
“She was a beautiful young lady,” Howard, who was Eno’s lunch aide at Gray Elementary School, said.
“She was one of the good ones, you know? It’s sad to see that you have all these kids out here that don’t give a s— about nobody. She didn’t do drugs. She was a good kid, such a sweetheart.”
On Friday morning, locals in the tight-knit corner of Portage Park were still in shock. Howard saw the aftermath of the crash as she rode the Cicero bus Thursday.
“I got on my phone and I texted my sister at 11:40, I think it was, and said, ‘I think some guy got hit by a car over here,'” Howard said. “And then I found out this morning that it was Barbie.”
Police on Friday said it was still unclear whether the driver didn’t see Eno, or if she came up quickly while he was making a turn. Detectives in the major accidents unit were looking for surveillance video and talking to witnesses.
The truck’s driver, a 51-year-old man, has not been ticketed or arrested.
Urban Cyclists need to be trained to understand and practice the Vehicular Cycling strategies that will keep them alive. It does little good to express sentiments about ‘fallen comrades‘ after they are killed. Much better to share the information with them that will keep them alive and productive members of society.