Turning Trucker With No Side Guards Killed Anthony Macedo, 14, in Gage Park

The truck from the crash. Image: CBS Chicago
The truck from the crash. Image: CBS Chicago

A right-turning semi-truck driver struck Anthony Macedo, 14 in the Gage Park neighborhood on Tuesday, March 5.

According to Police New Affairs, the teen was standing on the northeast corner of 51st Street and Western Avenue, facing west towards the crosswalk, at about 3:45. The sidewalk on the north side of 51st is narrow, and the corner has a wide radius, which facilitates fast turns by drivers.

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 8.23.52 PM
The trucker ran over Macedo at the northeast corner of 51st Street and Western Avenue, shown at the right side of the frame. Image: Google Maps

The male driver of a 2003 Volvo semi-trailer truck, hauling a shipping container, was heading on 51 Street when he made a right turn, striking the teen, according to News Affairs. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The trucker continued north after striking the boy. Police pulled him over and cited him with failure to yield, but did not charge him with a hit-and-run. The CPD is investigating whether the trucker knew he had struck someone, checking video footage and talking to witnesses.

“We had some witnesses in the area that… let the officers know by calling 911,” said Officer Jose Jara told ABC Chicago. “Some people are saying it didn’t appear that he knew that he struck somebody.”

It’s not uncommon for pedestrians and cyclists to be killed by turning truck drivers in Chicago. In 2015, Elizabeth Peralta-Luna and her children Elizabeth, nine, and Dylan, four, were walking in a crosswalk at 43rd and Ashland, two miles northeast of Tuesday’s crash site, when a left-turning truck driver struck them. In 2016, three people on bikes were fatally struck, and a fourth cyclist was critically injured, by right-turning truckers.

A Chicago Department of Water Management truck outfitted with side guards. Photo: Airflow Deflector
A Chicago Department of Water Management truck outfitted with side guards. Photo: Airflow Deflector

In July 2017 City Council passed an ordinance requiring that any business with a city contract worth $2 million or more install side guards, which help prevent pedestrians and cyclists from being crushed under the wheels of trucks, and convex mirrors on all trucks used to fulfill the contract that weigh 10,000 pounds or more. This safety equipment might have saved Macedo’s life, but the trucker who struck him did not have side guards on his vehicle.

Fatality Tracker: 2019 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 4
Truck fatalities: 1

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago streets, based on media reports for January, February, and March

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    Why will the city tax and regulate everything except ACTUAL “SAFE-GUARDS”. The fat-laden teamsters union probably has something to do with the lack of required side guards, but who’s to know? REQUIRE ALL TRUCKS TO HAVE SAFEGUARDS NOW. Congestion Tax to support transit and bike/ ped improvement shortly therafter…

  • Tooscrapps

    I would guess because most motor vehicle regs come from the state level or even federal level. And the truckers have a powerful lobby at those levels of government.

  • kastigar

    Wide radius corners contribute to this. Make the corners square to slow down all traffic – cars, trucks, and bicycles too.

  • Anne A

    Large trucks ovrerrunning corners is a significant problem at many intersections on Western, Ashland and other streets that are truck routes and/or have entrances to intermodal freight yards.

    Whether or not a corner is rounded off to allow faster turns, there may not be enough swing room for large trucks to complete the turn without hitting vehicles in an oncoming traffic lane unless they either overrun the corner somewhat or force traffic in that lane to back up. I see this problem frequently at the northeast corner of 95th and Western, where the corner is fairly square.

  • Anne A

    The corner at 51st and Western is more rounded compared to 95th and Western, however Western is much narrower there, so I would imagine that the hazard to pedestrians on the sidewalk created by turning trucks would be greater than at 95th.

    With the growth of intermodal freight (such as the Norfolk Southern expansion in Englewood), it’s more important than ever that a national Vision Zero effort include lobbying for effective side guards and better mirror and/or video systems so that truck drivers are better able to see what’s around them and avoid running people over.


  • Serious question: How would you put side guards in an intermodal container? Don’t those need to conform with international standards?

  • johnaustingreenfield

    The side guards would be permanently attacked on the flat bed of the truck.

  • Belinda

    That was my cousin😭🙏🏼

  • johnaustingreenfield

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Please let Anthony’s family know that they can reach me at jgreenfield[at]streetsblog.org or 312-560-3966 if they would like us to update this post with information about his life. Thank you.

  • AirFlow Deflector

    There is never any easy answer when tragedy strikes some or somebody. A balance between economics and logic is always the goal. Preventable a crash is possible but there needs to be a change of attitude for everyone. Safety technology including side guards will and have been introduced and just like with disk brakes and anti-lock breaks, the builders of trucks will incorporate what makes sense and not for options that are very specialized. Chicago is leading the country to protect all of its citizens, one actionable step at a time.

  • Peter K. Berg

    It is hard to measure the cost to this poor family for the loss of Anthony. The emotional, psychological and physical toll on their health is staggering. The NHTSA states that: The $242 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $784 for each of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.6 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for 2010. These figures include both police‐reported and unreported crashes. When quality of life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $836 billion. Lost market and household productivity accounted for $77 billion of the total $242 billion economic costs, while property damage accounted for $76 billion. Medical expenses totaled $23 billion. Congestion caused by crashes, including travel delay, excess fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants accounted for $28 billion. Each fatality resulted in an average discounted lifetime cost of $1.4 million. Public revenues paid for roughly 7 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs, costing tax payers $18 billion in 2010, the equivalent of over $156 in added taxes for every household in the United States.

  • Peter K. Berg

    If the truck driver had slowed down and paid more attention while making his right turn and if his equipment were working properly, this accident would not have occurred.