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