‘The world’s loss is immense:’ Guilty plea entered on speed-related charge in cyclist’s death

A guilty plea involving a 2022 crash that killed cyclist Nancy Nozicka brought a measure of closure for her family, but the grief is still raw, relatives said Tuesday.

Nozicka's bicycle was hit by a 2005 Toyota 4Runner July 10, 2022, as she traveled south on St. Marys Road near Libertyville, police said.

Daniel E. Quane, 82, of Libertyville pleaded guilty for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and paid a $500 fine.

“Our family is left with more questions than answers,” said Dr. Chuck Nozicka, Nancy's husband, at a hearing in Lake County court.

“Our loss — the world’s loss is immense,” Amy Eberhardt said of her sister. “Nancy … positively impacted every person she encountered every time she encountered them.”

The 64-year-old from Green Oaks led a program to prevent repeat heart failures at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and was a beloved emergency room nurse.

Chuck Nozicka read a statement in court written by his daughter Nicole Nozicka Gas.

“Mom was endless love and the ability to make anything better. She was sharp advice and a soft lap. Mom was accordion playing in the driveway in her scrubs, or the initiator of a completely competitive challenge using every day objects,” Nozicka Gas wrote.

“Mom was a compass when you lost your way, and a safe harbor when you needed a place to rest.”

Relatives said they were frustrated and pained that it took two years for a resolution in the case. They also were upset that initially authorities indicated the crash was Nancy Nozicka’s fault. Quane was cited in 2023.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Lake County sheriff’s investigators found Quane’s vehicle, which was traveling southbound on St. Marys Road, “began drifting to the right” and struck the rear tire of Nozicka’s bike.

Crash investigators did not find that intoxicating substances or electronics contributed to the crash, officials said in 2023.

Quane apologized to the family at the hearing.

Chuck Nozicka said the family “hopes something positive can come out of this,” such as safer biking trails in Lake County, or changes to laws giving authorities more tools to investigate crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.

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