Yesterday I was involved in a hit-and-run accident. I was traveling on my bike eastbound on Diversey, and merged into the left turn lane prepared to go northbound onto Damen.. There were a couple cars ahead of me when the light turned green. As the cars scooted up, the car behind me tapped my rear tire with its bumper. I turned around to see an angry elderly woman, who clearly did not like having a bicyclist in front of her. I looked her square in the face, put my hands up and shouted, "Hey! you just bumped me with your car! You just hit me!" Even if she did it accidentally, there was no way she now did not see me in front of her.
The car in front of me made the light as it turned from yellow to red, so I stopped at the stop bar. All of a sudden I feel myself falling. The old lady decided she needed to go through the intersection as she mowed through me. I was grasping for anything as I fell, and remember hearing a crack as I held onto the passenger-side mirror. Before I knew it, my bike was on the ground, I was on the ground, and the old woman had sped north on Damen through the red light.
I was dazed and in shock. Luckily, I was not hurt. My immediate reaction was to dial 911 as I scrambled for the phone in my purse, which was laid out in the intersection. Several cars stopped and someone helped me and my bicycle to the curb. It all happened so fast. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are no better people than Chicagoans. So many people stopped, offered help, and gave their information to serve as witnesses. "It was an attack!" one man said, "She just hit you and didn't even care!" A man across the intersection saw the whole thing, as did a woman driving behind the elderly lady's car, getting her license plate number. I didn't do anything wrong, I was attacked.
A Chicago police officer came and I felt a sense of relief. But he only asked if I was hurt and if there was any property damage. "No, I am not hurt, but she tried to run me over!" I exclaimed. "Oh, so she didn't hit you," said the officer from inside his vehicle, shouting through the passenger window. "No, she hit me! I want to file a report!" Then officer said, "OK," and drove off. He didn't come back. Clearly, this wasn't a priority.
I went to the 19th District CPD station and filed the report in person. I don't care that I wasn't hurt physically (although my left hip flexer is pretty sore), I want to ensure that a dangerous driver is taken off the road. Driving is a privilege and if you endanger the life of anyone else while controlling a 2-ton killing machine, you do not deserve that privilege. Furthermore, the blatant maliciousness of the incident is what has really kept me up at night. She knew she was hitting me. She tried to. And she didn't care. If she is found, I want her punished to the fullest extent of the law, if that doesn't happen, I may seek relief in civil court as well as punitive damages to punish this behavior. I don't care if she is someone's grandma and spends her time baking cookies, she needs to know how wrong she was. That she could have killed a person. That she has given me nightmares.
|The white Chevy Malibu was a late 90s or early 2000s model|
Driver: Caucasian female, 60-70 years of age
Car: White Chevrolet Malibu, IL License Plate # G13 9740
Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 12:28 pm CST
Location: Chicago, IL, Eastbound on Diversey in the left turn lane at the intersection of Clybourn and Damen