Mayya Medovaya, 78, Fatally Struck by Turning UPS Truck Driver in North Park
A UPS truck driver who was making a right on red fatally struck a senior Monday afternoon in the North Park community, according to police.
At around 4:45 p.m., the 78-year-old woman was crossing the street at Peterson and Central Park in a crosswalk when the 64-year-old male driver made a right turn on red and struck her, according to Police News Affairs. The victim was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital in critical condition, where she was soon pronounced dead.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office has identified the woman as Mayya Medovaya of the 5800 block of north Pulaski, about six blocks from the crash site. She was the fifth vulnerable road user to be fatally struck by a commercial vehicle in Chicago in about nine weeks.
The UPS driver was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, according to News Affairs.
The police crash report stated that the driver had been heading west on Peterson and made a northbound right turn onto Central Park. However, photos of the truck parked at the north side of Peterson, just west of Central Park, following the crash, posted by several news outlets, plus a report by WGN, indicate that wasn’t the case.
The WGN reporter stated that Medovaya was walking south across the west leg of the intersection when she was struck, which would be in keeping with the final location of the truck. Therefore, it appears that the driver was also heading south on Central Park and made a right turn, westbound, onto Peterson when he struck the victim.
Witness Micheal Weldler told WGN that traffic on Peterson had the green at the time, which would mean both the pedestrian and the driver had a red light. It appears that right turns on red are legal at this location.
However, even if Medovaya was crossing against the light, that has limited relevance to this case. Even when both the driver and pedestrian have a green, it’s all-too-common for right-turning motorists to carelessly strike pedestrians in crosswalks. Moreover, a driver turning right on red is still responsible for ensuring that the relevant crosswalks are clear before making the turn.
Weldler told WGN that this busy intersection is generally a dangerous place. “People go fast here,” he said. “You see people run red lights all the time… [A fatal crash] was bound to happen, the way people drive down this street.”
Another neighbor told WGN, “This direction on Peterson, there are no cameras for speeders. They ignore the light.” He added that dangerous driving at the intersection is particularly problematic because Peterson Park is located at the southwest corner, so many children are traveling to the green space.
Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 15 (seven were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 4 (one was a hit-and-run crash)