Medical Emergency Causes Car Accident, One Fatality

CICERO (STMW) – A town employee was killed Thursday morning in a car crash in west suburban Cicero.

Jacqueline Merkel, 56, of the 5100 block of W. 25th place in Cicero was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital at 9:40 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Merkel was traveling southbound on Laramie Avenue in her vehicle, a 2001 Kia Sephia, when the driver of a 2005 Ford Explorer suffered a medical emergency, which caused him to lose control of his vehicle, and swerve into the oncoming lane of traffic, thereby causing the collision, according to a release from the town of Cicero.

Cicero Police and Fire departments responded about 7:20 a.m. to the accident at the intersection of 32nd Place and Laramie Avenue, according to the release. The vehicles were found in the southbound lane of Laramie Avenue near the northwest corner of the intersection.

The Kia came to rest facing northbound along the curb of the southbound lane, while the Explorer came to rest after hitting the brick wall of a nearby apartment building, after jumping the curb and the sidewalk, according to the release.

Merkel was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where she later died and the driver of the Explorer sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for treatment, according to the release.

Town President Larry Dominick and his wife Elizabeth said that they were very close to Merkel and were saddened by the death. “This was a very upsetting tragedy,” Dominick said. “We have known her and her family for many years. Our condolences go out to her family. It’s a loss to her family and to the town. She was well-liked and so many seniors depended on her services.”

Merkel was also caring for her elderly mother, according to the release.

Preliminary information obtained during the investigation indicates alcohol was not a factor in the cause of the crash, and no criminal charges have been filed against the driver of the Explorer, according to the release.

The investigation is still pending and being reviewed by the Cook County States Attorney’s Office.

“This is a tough case because she was so well known to people as someone who worked hard to help others” Cicero Police Chief Lori Lelis said. “She was a very nice person.”

  • Bren

    why is it the one that causes the accident usually walks away, although i do hope they recover from what ever the medical emergency was but would of been nice to been told that in article and sorry to the one that passed may she be resting with past family and friends. my heart goes out to her family.

  • FR

    This is why SUVs should have a much larger license plate fee. They are more dangerous to the public and also are harder to see around. A $500.00 SUV license would discourage their purchase if they are not needed.

  • Terri M

    I knew Jackie very well, her brother is married to my siister. She was an excellent driver. She was on her way to work. My brother-in-law and sister had to fly from Arizona to help make arrangements for the funeral. It was heartbreaking. Jackie’s elderly mom was so distraut. They lived together for years. I know the family will investigate this accident completely. The wake was very depressing. She leaves behind one daughter and grandchildren too! I would like to see in the paper some kind of apology or something from the driver who caused the accident. The whole family is torn apart. If it was a medical emergancy then perhaps that driver should not have been behind the wheel to begin with. What kind of medical emergancy? Some people have problems that they should not be driviing. I would like to know what was the emergancy? There are plenty of people out there who should not be behind a wheel driving. Rest in peace Jackie, We miss you!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live