CHICAGO (CBS) — A bicyclist was critically injured Tuesday morning, when a city dump truck hit her as they were both making a turn the busy intersection of Belmont and Milwaukee avenues in Avondale.
Police said a 31-year-old woman was headed north on Milwaukee Avenue, and turning east onto Belmont Avenue around 8:30 a.m., when a truck making the same turn ran her over.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reported Tuesday afternoon, the truck’s driver did not realize what had happened until witnesses rushed to stop him.
“It’s a very busy intersection,” said Robert Ness.
In the best of circumstances, neighbors say the intersection is a tricky spot to navigate.
Busy Belmont and Milwaukee avenues come together on a diagonal, and even the locals feel uneasy.
“This corner is not very safe,” Ness said. “That’s why I walked my bike across the street.”
On Tuesday, a gnarled orange bicycle was evidence of just that.
“Pretty much what I saw was a lady underneath,” said witness Esteban Burgoa.
“She got hit in the front and evidently she went underneath, and she ended up in the middle of the two wheels front and back.”
The 31-year-old cyclist was trapped under the truck’s high carriage and dragged several feet. The driver did not realize what was happening until witnesses began screaming for his attention.
“The only way the truck stopped is because the local guys that are looking for work here were kind enough to hear the screams of the lady, and they ran in front of the truck, and they tried to tell the trucker to stop,” witness Esteban Burgoa said. “That was the only way he stopped, because if he would have continued driving, she would have been killed by those rear wheels very easy.”
After she was pulled out, police said the cyclist was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center conscious, but in critical condition.
The truck’s 48-year-old driver, visibly shaken, was taken to Swedish Hospital for an evaluation.
“The driver was pretty much in shock, nervous screaming,” Burgoa said.
CBS 2 has learned that over the past year, the intersection of Belmont and Milwaukee avenues has been the location of two minor incidents involving a pedestrian or bicyclist. It’s why those who pass there often take their precautions.
“I don’t like to ride across it because it’s super busy,” Ness said.
The Chicago Department of Transportation said the incident is under investigation.
It’s a reminder with more of us out there sharing the roads as many avoid public transportation in the pandemic, we need to be even more aware of our surroundings.