If I were to ever get hit by a car, I figured it’d likely happen near the Green Line somewhere in Chicago. I just never anticipated that I actually would and that it would have happened in Oak Park.
Yep, I was hit last Wednesday while crossing the street at Oak Park Avenue to get to the Green Line. I was trying to catch the train that was just arriving heading east toward downtown. The light turned green and I dashed toward the station’s entrance. But before dashing, some dumb-ass driver heading south ran the yellow light that had just turned red and then did – of all things – a U-turn from his right lane into the left lane going back north – right at the intersection.
Never in the history of buffoonery have I ever seen a buffoon attempt such a dangerous thing. Oak Park streets are very tight. Did this driver make it? Of course not. The person couldn’t make the turn and was jammed in the left lane just in front of the viaduct. Then, this “driver” started to back up. Now, I don’t drive but I know a few things about the rules of the road and what my dad has referred to as “commonsense driving.”
A) You don’t make dumb-ass, dangerous and illegal U-turns, unless you’ve got a pregnant woman in the back seat or something. And B) you don’t back up after failing to make the U-turn while pedestrians are crossing the dang street! You stay your dumb, no-driving ass where you are until the crosswalk is clear.
As I ran to the other side – my light was green and I had the right of way – this “driver” backed into me. Not at any top speed. The person clearly wasn’t looking behind or mindful of his surroundings. I wasn’t knocked to the ground, although I should have fallen out in the street screaming “Whiplash!!!” so I can sue – the economy’s real tough you know.
A lady who was in front of the Green Line entrance looked at me, and we both gave each other that silent, “can you believe this %&^#%$@” look.
I did throw whatever I had in my hand at the car as I passed, the non-driver still backing up. When I got home I stepped in yelling, “Thank you Jesus; I made it home; ohhhh thank you, thank you heavenly father.” I kneeled down to touch the floor and hugged my family – clearly I hadn’t lost my sarcasm, and my adrenaline was still going. I had to lie down just to relax.
As for the driver: I saw his face. It appeared to be a teenager and he had two or three others in the car, a black four-door something. They all looked like teens. Or maybe they weren’t. Or maybe they were all aliens impersonating teenage-looking earthlings. Regardless, I’ve never been hit, or in this case, grazed by a car. Not even in Chicago. Not even at Cicero and Lake Street, not far from where I live.
That corner is kind of known as “the kill zone,” because you’re likely to find bits and pieces or cars scattering the area. Crashes happen there a lot. Some drivers are pretty reckless there. I’ve seen them. The kill zone hasn’t gotten me, but that alien driver did.
I live to walk again.