west loop

Woman Charged With Striking, Killing Bicyclist in West Loop, Then Driving Away

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A woman has been charged with reckless homicide weeks after she fatally struck a bicyclist in the West Loop and kept on driving, Chicago police said.

Courtney Bertucci, 30, was arrested Monday on a warrant in west suburban Addison, police said.

Bertucci allegedly struck Paresh Chhatrala, 42, as he biked along Madison Street on April 16. She had swerved to avoid a metal plate on the road at Peoria Street and struck him head-on, police said.

She continued driving, his bike stuck under her car, but was stopped a block away by witnesses of the crash, police said. When officers arrived, someone was holding Bertucci against her Volkswagen Jetta.

Bertucci, 30, was initially charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, operating an uninsured vehicle and cited for striking a pedestrian. Officers found empty baggies of heroin in her car, according to the police report.

She was charged Tuesday with reckless homicide, failure to report an accident and possession of a controlled substance.

Chhatrala’s death renewed activists’ calls for safety improvements along that stretch of Madison Street, where the city had removed a concrete median in 2019 to ease traffic congestion.

She was expected to appear in court later Tuesday.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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