The bicyclist who was struck early Monday morning was a Russian college student who was in Tinley Park this summer as part of an international exchange, one of the program's local contacts told Patch.
Nikita Anisimov, 19, was in stable condition after requiring immediate surgery to relieve bleeding around his brain, said Clint Paraday, who works as a contact for the U.S. State Department's J-1 Summer Work and Travel Program, which organizes the exchange. Anisimov also had multiple bone fractures, Paraday said, adding that the student could be released Thursday or Friday.
Paraday also is the general manager for Odyssey Fun World, where some of the exchange students work—including Anisimov—during their time here.
Anisimov was only two or three blocks away from the home of the host family he was staying with before a dark SUV struck him from behind while he was riding his bike, Paraday said. The teen's work shift at Odyssey Fun World had ended at 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, but Paraday told Patch he didn't know where he was riding from before he was hit at around 12:40 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.
READ: Mayor, Village Clerk Welcome Russian Exchange Visitors
Paraday said he spoke to police today about the incident, and he has been communicating with the organizations and contacts in Russia.
"We just hope this person will be brought to justice," Paraday said, adding he has been using social media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, to help find the driver of the SUV suspected of hitting Anisimov.
The exchange program is a joint effort between the J-1 Summer Work and Travel program and the Cultural Exchange Network, which sponsors the visit, according to a recent village press release.
The program allows Full-time college-level students at accredited institutions outside the United States to come to the country to share their culture and ideas, the release stated, adding that about 70,000 students from more than 50 countries are participating.
ORIGINAL STORY (2:37 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2)
Tinley Park police are searching for a dark-colored SUV that struck a bicyclist early Monday morning.
A 19-year-old man hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after his bike was hit at about 12:40 a.m. Monday in the 17900 block of Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park police said. He remains at Silver Cross in New Lenox while being treated for a broken thumb and head trauma.
The bike rider was struck from behind while traveling northbound on Oak Park Avenue, police said. Officers are searching for a 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche that was recorded on video speeding away from the scene.
Police said the SUV struck the bike rider from behind before leaving and had right front headlight damage. Investigators put up police tape Monday evening near an apartment building on that block while taking measurements of the crash site.
Anyone with information can contact the Tinley Park Police Department at 708-444-5300.
Editor Joe Vince also contributed to this story.