FedEx driver said he “didn’t see” Marsha Frankel, 72, before ran over and killed her

The north leg of Roosevelt/Wabash. Image: Google Maps
The north leg of Roosevelt/Wabash. Image: Google Maps

Tragically, a FedEx delivery driver fatally struck 72-year-old Marsha Frankel on Monday as she crossed the street in the Loop while using a walker.

According to police, on Monday, February 20, at about 2:20 p.m., Frankel was walking across the north leg of the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Wabash Avenue.

This location received safety improvements, including a road diet on Roosevelt east of Wabash to make room for a raised bike lane, and conspicuously-colored crosswalks. However, Roosevelt/Wabash, located next to the Roosevelt ‘L’ station and two supermarkets, is still a daunting intersection for pedestrians. The north leg, where the senior was crossing, has five lanes for motor vehicles, and the west leg has seven.

Police said the westbound driver of a FedEx step van, a 31-year-old male, was making a right turn from Roosevelt onto northbound Wabash when he ran over Frankel.

Frankel, who lived about a block away on the 1200 block of South Michigan Avenue, was pronounced dead at 2:35 p.m. at Northwestern Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Diagram of the collision from the crash report.
Diagram of the collision from the crash report.

The police report provides more details about what allegedly happened. The delivery driver told responding officers “he was at the intersection waiting for all the pedestrians to finish crossing at the intersection… When he saw all the pedestrians cross, he proceeded to turn right… [He] relayed that as he was turning he ‘felt’ that he hit ‘something.'”

According to the report, the driver said he immediately put the truck in park and was going to provide first aid to Frankel, but bystanders told him, “Don’t touch her.” The driver told police he “didn’t see” the senior before he ran her over. Obviously, that no excuse for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The report states that the driver submitted to a field sobriety test and did not show any signs of impairment. He also submitted blood and urine samples for testing at Northwestern Hospital. His cell phone records should also be checked to determine whether distracted driving was a factor in the crash.

Police said the driver was cited for failure to yield. The crash was recorded by multiple surveillance cameras.

The aftermath of the crash. Image: ABC Chicago
The aftermath of the crash. Image: ABC Chicago

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends who are mourning a loved one lost in this [crash],” a Fed Ex spokesperson said in a statement. “Safety is our highest priority and we are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities at this time.”

Roosevelt/Wabash is “a very dangerous intersection to navigate as a pedestrian,” neighbor Jeff Bargowski told WGN. “The [drivers] disregard the red lights. I’ve almost been hit on this corner.”

Pedestrian: 10
Bicyclist: 0

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on media reports and/or preliminary Chicago Police Department data.

2023 Chicago pedestrian fatality cases

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