The Chainlink

A Wilmette woman is in custody after she hit a car, a woman on a scooter and a cyclist Sunday in north suburban Evanston.

Evanston investigators say the path of destruction began around 10:00 a.m., after the suspected driver hit another car on the corner of Ridge Avenue and Davis Street.

Authorities say the 63-year-old woman fled the scene and crashed into several parked cars at Chicago and Keeney.

Police say the woman continued driving and struck a woman on a motorized scooter in the 600 block of Chicago Avenue.

The female on the scooter suffered minor injuries and took herself to a hospital.

Witnesses say the suspect driver had a third and final accident in the 700 block of Main Street, where she hit a man riding a bike. The cyclist was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital with minor injuries.

Several bystanders saw the aftermath including shop manager Cheryl Nester Detweiler, who had just arrived at work.

Cleveland Burkitt took cellphone pictures of officers arresting the driver, and said the woman nearly slammed into him as he drove in the 4600 block of Main Street.

Officers say the suspect drove three more miles to a neighboring suburb with a bashed car and windshield. An unmarked squad car spotted the damaged car in the 4600 block of Main Street, near the border of Evanston and Skokie.

Police said the woman's car was surrounded by Evanston and Skokie officers, and she was taken in to custody. Charges are pending against the woman, who had minor injuries from the incidents.

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Thank you for teaching us compassionate response to such an aggressive incident.  May you continue to receive the blessings of family, friends and community and be back on a new bike soon.
Bartolo said:

I'm the biker, and I just want to say thanks to everyone for their thoughts and wishes through this process.   Evanston Police Department were great, and it is really clear that their goal is to get this driver off the streets.  I spent a good part of Sunday in the ER in the room beside that driver, and can only say that she clearly should not be driving ever again.  I got to hear them put the cuffs on her, and as satisfying as that feeling was, it pales in comparison to the comfort I received from strangers, friends, and especially my wife who was out of town and got back to Chicago faster than any of us thought possible.

Throughout the process I have been found great kindness, compassion and  advocacy from  numerous individuals.  The ER and ICU staffs at Presence St. Francis are a cooly efficient bunch, and deserve tremendous respect for all they do.  Evanston PD is going to do everything in their power to remove this driver from the road.  

I won't go into my physical condition much, except to say that I look pretty scary.   If you want to see a reason to wear a helmet, look at that driver's windshield and my face and you'll see why.   Let's all hope EPD and the county attorney succeed in getting this driver off the road.

I was humbled yesterday to speak with the attending trauma physician who was there when I was brought in on Sunday.  Violence, hatred and misunderstanding are all within easy reach of anyone who wants to pick them up and wield them---it's much harder to see the world as it is in all its ugliness and to choose peace and compassion. I'm really proud of how this thread never became one of those cars vs bike rants (which have their place, sadly), and thanks to everyone for their well-wishes.



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