A community on Chicago’s Near West Side is rallying around a 42-year-old man who suffered severe head trauma when he was struck by a car over the weekend.
According to Chicago police, the crash occurred at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday in the 900 block of West Madison.
“It’s a shame that something like this has to happen to get people’s attention, and we absolutely have to do something about it,” Brian Ferber, a member of the Neighbors of West Loop group, said.
Police say the victim was going westbound on Madison when he was hit by a car also headed in the same direction.
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“This accident was particularly horrific because of the number of people that witnessed it and that the driver drove so many blocks with the bicycle under her car,” said Nikki Kanter, who is the moderator of the Real West Loop Facebook group.
Several witnesses followed the suspect’s vehicle after the crash as it attempted to flee the scene.
The alleged driver, now identified as 30-year-old Courtney Bertucci, was arrested blocks away near Aberdeen and Monroe.
“I think for me it was very emotional when I heard this because I was a victim of a hit and run eight months ago,” said longtime West Loop resident and President of the Skinner Park Advisory Council May Toy.
Toy is still recovering from her injuries with her arm still in a sling.The driver in her case still hasn’t been caught.
“These things do not need to happen and we need to do everything we can,” she said. “The city needs to do everything they can to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”
Police suspect the driver in Saturday’s case may have been driving under the influence of drugs. Bertucci is now facing several charges, including possession of a controlled substance.
“She needs to be held accountable for her actions and we need to make sure the State’s Attorney does (her) due diligence and charge her accordingly,” said Toy.
Residents told NBC 5 there needs to be more protection for pedestrians and bicyclists in the West Loop. They want elected officials to listen to their safety concerns and said it’s only a matter of time before someone else is seriously hurt or even killed.
“Every time one of these things happen they say we’re going to take a look and do a study,” said Toy. “Well, you know what, action needs to follow those studies you can’t be just more lip service that’s kinda how I feel.”
Members of the Real West Loop Facebook group are in the process of planning a fundraiser to help support the latest victim and his family.
Court records show Bertucci is still being held in the Cook County Jail as of Tuesday. Her bond has been set at $10,000. She’s due back in court next Monday.