CTA Bus Driver Passes Out, Crashes Into 21 Parked Cars

By Victoria Johnson on December 21, 2012 12:30pm | Updated on December 21, 2012 3:03pm

AVONDALE — A CTA bus driver passed out at the wheel and crashed into a row of parked cars Friday morning on Kedzie Avenue just north of Diversey Avenue.

CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said the male driver suffered some kind of medical emergency about 8:40 a.m. that caused him to pass out and lose control, hitting "at least a dozen" cars parked on Kedzie Avenue.

The accident left 21 crushed and mangled cars littering the block, with one car hit so hard, it ended up perched on top of another car.

The driver was taken to the hospital in fair-to-serious condition, along with a passenger who also was listed in fair-to-serious condition, said Will Knight, Chicago Fire Department Media Affairs spokesman.

Knight said one injured person was taken to Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center and the other to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. 

Kedzie Avenue was closed between Diversey Avenue and George Street as officials investigated.

The CTA driver was traveling north on the No. 76 Diversey route, which is supposed to turn right onto Diversey Avenue at Kedzie Avenue and head east. Instead, it appears the driver missed the turn, drove north on Kedzie and hit cars on both sides of the street.

Marie Williams, 36, lives in apartment building on the block and said she poked her head out the door to see what the weather was like as she prepared to drive her 3-year-old to preschool.

Instead, she saw her 2000 Mazda Protege completely smashed on the sidewalk across the street.

"I came out and I was like 'Oh my god,'" she said. "It looks like a movie scene outside."

Though frustrated that she'd be spending her day in the Shakespeare District police station filing a report and preparing an insurance claim with the CTA, she said she was relieved nobody was hurt.

"I'm just grateful that we weren't on our way to the car or in the car," she said. "The car can be replaced. A life can't."

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