Community rallies around cyclist who was hit by car in West Loop – NBC Chicago
A community on Chicago’s Near West Side is rallying around a 42-year-old man who suffered severe head trauma when he was hit by a car over the weekend.
Chicago police say the crash happened around 10 p.m. Saturday in the 900 block of West Madison.
“It’s a shame something like this has to happen to get people’s attention, and we absolutely have to do something about it,” said Neighbors of West Loop band member Brian Ferber.
Police say the victim was heading west on Madison when he was struck by a car also heading in the same direction.
“This accident was especially horrific because of the number of people who witnessed it and the fact that the driver traveled so many blocks with the bike under her car,” said Nikki Kanter, moderator of the Facebook group Real West. Loop.
Several witnesses followed the suspect’s vehicle after the crash as he attempted to flee the scene.
The suspected driver, now identified as Courtney Bertucci, 30, was arrested a few blocks away near Aberdeen and Monroe.
“I think it was very emotional for me when I heard that because I was the victim of a hit and run eight months ago,” said May Toy, a longtime West Loop resident and Chair of the Skinner Park Advisory Board.
Toy is still recovering from his injuries with his arm still in a sling. The driver in his case has still not been caught.
“These things don’t need to happen and we need to do everything we can,” she said. “The city must do everything it can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Police suspect the driver in Saturday’s case may have been driving under the influence of drugs. Bertucci now faces multiple charges, including possession of a controlled substance.
“She needs to be held accountable for her actions and we need to make sure the state’s attorney does their due diligence and charges her accordingly,” Toy said.
Residents told NBC 5 that more protection was needed for pedestrians and cyclists on the West Loop. They want elected officials to listen to their safety concerns and said it was only a matter of time before someone else was seriously injured or even killed.
“Whenever one of these things happens, they say we’ll take a look and do a study,” Toy said. “Well, you know what, the action has to follow those studies, you can’t just be lip service anymore, that’s kind of how I feel.”
Members of the Facebook group Real West Loop are planning a fundraiser to help support the latest victim and his family.
Court records show Bertucci is still being held in the Cook County jail as of Tuesday. His bail was set at $10,000. She is due back in court next Monday.