Streetlights Out on Block Where Man Fatally Hit by Unmarked Squad Car

When an unmarked Chicago police car struck and killed a pedestrian on the 2800 block of East 79th Street early this morning, reports were that some – or maybe all – of the streetlights on the block were out at the time of the crash.

As NBC5 Investigates reported in two separate stories last summer, many residents have been reporting similar outages of entire blocks of streetlights – especially in areas of the West Side and the South Side, where the latest crash occurred.

And in the immediate vicinity of the overnight crash, NBC5 Investigates found six separate reports to the city over the past year, saying that all the lights were out on a block – including one instance where it apparently took more than a month to get the lights turned back on.

NBC5 Investigates pulled all 311 service requests to the City of Chicago, which records any time someone reports a whole block of streetlights out,  in the vicinity of Wednesday morning’s crash over the past year.

The most recent report for the block where the crash occurred came in last Thursday and is still listed as “open” on the city’s website.

The lights on that block were also reported out last March 26, with records showing they were back on two days later.

But last November there was a report that all lights were out one block over from the accident, on the 2700 block of East 79th Street, and records say it took more than a month to turn them back on. The report came in on Nov. 5, and the city lists the “completion date” as Dec. 9.

On another block adjacent to the accident -- 7700 South Burnham Avenue -- all streetlights were reported out just two weeks ago, on Jan. 13, but were put back on the same day, according to the 311 data. But last October – the day before Halloween – that same block had its lights out for six days – from October 30th until November 5th, according to city records.

And on the block of 7800 South Burnham, around the corner from the accident, records show there were two complaints that the entire block’s lights were out on March 27, and that they went back on a day later.

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