A Chicago resident is giving thanks a day early Wednesday after he narrowly avoided a light pole that came crashing down in front of his vehicle due to high winds that pounded the region.
“I’m blessed. I’m truly blessed,” Mike Norwood said.
The incident, which was caught on video, shows what happened as Norwood was driving down 112th Street toward his Avalon Park home with his 4-year-old child.
“A light pole came crashing down, just seconds before my car (would have been there),” he said. “I slammed on the brakes. It was crazy.”
While Norwood is thankful that he’s safe, he wanted the moment to be a teachable one for area residents, as he believes if he’d been speeding or distracted by his cellphone that the outcome would have been significantly different.
“I’m very thankful for it. It could have ended so differently,” he said. “Could have changed my whole family dynamic.”
Other area residents also had close encounters with wind-blown debris, including a Beverly resident whose silver minivan was smashed when the wind took down parts of a massive tree.
While the woman wasn’t hurt, she says that the tree was partly dead when it collapsed, and that the city needs to be more vigilant about removing potentially hazardous trees so that similar incidents don’t occur.
“It could have impaled anyone coming by,” she said. “We’ve been asking for this tree to be removed. It’s clearly dangerous, because every rain or thunderstorm, a piece of it comes down. Something has to be done.”
Several Chicago area locations reported wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour on Wednesday, but wind speeds should finally die down for the Thanksgiving holiday.