CHICAGO (CBS) — A close call on the busy LaSalle Street Bridge for a Chicago bicyclist.
He shared his story in the hopes that it will prevent someone else from getting hurt or even killed.
The man was riding his bicycle on the LaSalle Street Bridge when the front tire of his bike became wedged in a gap between two grate panels. The man said he was thrown from the bike and injured, but he’s grateful it wasn’t worse.
“I think it was a miracle,” said injured bicyclist Andreja Djokovic who added that it was a miracle that he wasn’t killed Wednesday just before noon after his bicycle got stuck in a gap between grates in the middle of the LaSalle Street Bridge.
He said it happened in the turn lane as he was about to make a left on Wacker.
“It stopped cold. I flew over it, fell in my right shoulder. I thought I broke my shoulder. I was in that much pain,” Djokovic said and that he was grateful traffic was unusually light at the time. Had the traffic been heavier, he said the outcome could’ve been different.
“I think it would’ve been fatal,” Djokovic said.
The bike was wedged so deeply it didn’t fall over. The damage can clearly be seen on the front wheel.
“The bike pretty much went between the grills and was buried to the middle of it,” Djokovic said. “(In the) middle of the front wheel. I tried to pull it out. Kind strangers came by and try to help me lift it. They couldn’t. Then a very strong gentlemen came and pulled it out.”
Djokovic said he spent six hours in the ER, but luckily nothing was broken. He did suffer a shoulder sprain and lots of scrapes and bruises. Ron Burke with the Active Transportation Alliance said accidents on bridges are not uncommon and more needs to be done to prevent them.
“It’s really important the city install plates or mats across these middle grates to really more safely to accommodate cyclists,” Burke said. “People who are riding bikes cross these metal grates need to know they can be slippery and that there can sometimes be gaps that can catch the wheels so try to keep an eye out or that.”
Djokovic said he learned his lesson and said he will no longer use the LaSalle Street Bridge.
“I’m going to find alternate routes,” he said.
Djokovic said he reported the accident and the gap on the bridge to the city of Chicago, but so far they have not responded to his email. A CDOT spokesperson said it was the first it had heard of the incident but would look into it.