Cab Driver Kills Man Crossing Eight Lanes of Cicero Near Midway


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5200 Block of South Cicero, from the cab driver’s perspective

A cab driver heading south towards Midway Airport on the 5200 South block of Cicero, just south of Archer, struck and killed a 56-year-old Oklahoma man who was trying to walk west across the street, around 11:30 p.m. Monday, according to Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabella. This block of Cicero, three blocks north of the airport, has six travel lanes plus two turn lanes at the intersection with Archer, which makes crossing it on foot a daunting task.

The police said the pedestrian, whose name was not released, was crossing just south of Archer when he was struck, and he was not in a crosswalk. Since the crosswalk at the south leg of the intersection is about a 115-degree angle to Cicero, it’s possible the man was struck while making a more direct, 90-degree crossing.

Possible path of southbound cab is shown in red; possible route of westbound pedestrian is blue.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Taxi driver, Lester Brown, 75, from the 6800 block of South Indiana, was cited for driving too fast for conditions, Mirabella said. The police department’s Major Accidents Investigation Section is looking into the case.

Fatality Tracker: 2013 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 9 (7 were from hit-and-run crashes, 2 in truck crashes)
Bicyclist: 1

  • I wonder how close to the marked crosswalk one has to be before they are considered “in” it. What if one walks 1 foot outside of the marked crosswalk but parallel to it? Are they in or out?

    There are two red light cameras here, monitoring northbound and westbound approaches.

  • JZ

    I was just at this intersection last week. It is dangerous, mainly because Cicero is a de facto highway down there. If we finally make Cicero a real west side highway and put ped/bike bridges over the major intersections, it would solve everyone’s problems.

  • What is the penalty for “striking a pedestrian in the roadway” ?

  • Anonymous

    If you’re not in it, you are out of it.

    See the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code related to “Crossing at other than crosswalks”:

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh.+11+Art.+X&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=115600000&SeqEnd=117200000

    That is not to say the question can’t be argued in court, of course, question of driver duties to exercise caution, etc., aside …

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure that making it a highway would solve everyone’s problems, though I get the need for improved bike/ped amenities.

  • CL

    Sometimes it seems like there is no safe way to cross major roads, even in the crosswalk. On a busy four-lane road, you need four cars to silently agree to stop all at once. Last week, I was driving on a road like this, and I’d stop for pedestrians in crosswalks because it’s the law. Every time, the traffic in the lane beside me kept moving, as did oncoming traffic, and the cars behind me put on their turn signals waiting for the first opportunity to swerve around me. I felt like by stopping, I was pressuring the pedestrian to enter the road while it was clearly unsafe, since nobody else was stopping. I ended up shrugging apologetically and proceeding. So even though it’s the law, in practice, stopping for pedestrians on those roads doesn’t work unless traffic is so light that you’re the only car at that moment. I don’t know what the solution is — maybe bridges or more lights. In practice, I guess pedestrians just don’t expect anyone to stop on those roads, and they’re hoping for enough time to cross when it’s clear.

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