Northwestern Student Dies In Bicycle Accident the First Week of School

The Daily Northwestern reported that a first-year Northwestern student was killed in a bicycle accident Thursday at about 5 p.m.

Students lit candles on Sheridan Road for the Northwestern student killed in truck/bicycle accident on September 22.

Students lit candles on Sheridan Road for the Northwestern student killed in truck/bicycle accident on September 22. 

She was biking at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Garrett Place, when she was struck by a cement truck. The student was identified as Chuyuan “Chu” Qiu, according to an email to the Northwestern community from Dean of Students Todd Adams.

“It is with profound sadness that I write to inform you that first-year Weinberg student, Chuyuan “Chu” Qiu, passed away earlier today after being involved in a bicycle-vehicle accident on Sheridan Road,” the email said.

The student was unresponsive when Evanston Fire Department paramedics arrived on the scene. She was taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. At the hospital, she was pronounced dead.

Qiu was an international student, originally from Nanjing, China, according to the email from Adams. It was just her first quarter at Northwestern, where she was involved with different programs. She was a participant in the Kaplan Humanities Scholars Program and resided in the Residential College of Community and Cultural Studies.

In a statement on Facebook, the Associated Student Government at Northwestern said, “The first few weeks of this school year have been filled with more heartbreak and tragedy than should ever be the case.”

“ASG, along with the rest of the Northwestern community, grieves for the loss of two dynamic students, Scott Boorstein and Chuyuan “Chu” Qiu.”

Scott Boorstein was a student who committed suicide three weeks prior. ASG encouraged students to use the resources on campus, such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), to get through this time.

“I am always thankful to be part of the Wildcat family during times like this,” Adams wrote in his email. “We are a community that supports one another. As we remember Chuyuan, we must take care of ourselves and each other.”

Approximately 811 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2015, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

To stay safe on bicycles, it is important to wear a helmet and to wear bright colors to be seen on the road. For more on bicycle safety, see our blog from last week:


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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