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Wicker Park Man Hit By Truck, Thrown From Motorized Wheelchair, Police Say

By Alisa Hauser | March 6, 2017 8:34am
 Leroy Garry, 76, got away with minor injuries after a truck hit his motorized wheelchair early Saturday, but his chair was badly damaged, he said.
Leroy Garry Truck/Wheelchair Crash
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WICKER PARK — A 76-year-old man in a motorized wheelchair was thrown out of his chair when a truck hit him as he crossed Wicker Park's busy Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection Saturday morning, police said.

"I could have gotten my leg broken or worse. He had a mirror [on this truck]; he should have seen me," said Leroy Garry, a longtime Wicker Park resident.

The crash occurred at 9:06 a.m. Saturday in the 1500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, according to a police report.

Garry was traveling north on Damen and trying to cross the intersection toward North avenue in front of Publican Anker, when he was hit.

"I was trying to turn left onto Milwaukee from Damen, but a truck was over the crosswalk, blocking the walkway. I went around him. He didn't see me until he hit me," Garry said.

The driver, a 25-year-old delivery man for a wholesale food company, stayed at the scene and called 911.

Garry was transported by ambulance to Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center. He said he had no broken bones, just minor cuts and bruises.

"If the back wheel [of the chair] had gotten caught in the truck, I'd be in trouble," said Garry, who was interviewed at his home on Sunday.

The bottom section of Garry's wheelchair was torn off in the crash, leaving the its motor exposed. Garry said he is hoping that the driver's insurance company will pay for the damages.

The driver has an April 19 traffic court date, according to a police report provided by Garry.

A Chicago Police Department spokesperson did not have further details on the crash late Saturday.

The six-way intersection has a small cement island near where Garry was injured.

The Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues hub is a complex intersection and among the city's top sites for bike and pedestrian crashes, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. 

A resident of Wicker Park for 12 years, Garry said that he crosses the main intersection many times daily and has never been involved in a crash.

"You have to watch out for people," Garry said.