Man hits police officer, lanes reopen on Ike

July 18, 2008 5:33:13 PM PDT
Lanes on the Eisenhower Expressway have reopened. Police had shut down them down Friday after an accident occurred.Police were reportedly chasing someone driving a car going the wrong way on the Eisenhower when a police vehicle was involved in a crash Friday afternoon on the West Side.

The driver had hit an officer on biycyle patrol after police stopped to question him about drugs.

The accident, which unfolded at approximately 2 p.m., snarled traffic for hours.

The outbound Eisenhower was completely shut down. Police had it blocked off from west of Cicero Avenue down to Austin. Authorities diverted drivers off the expressway onto Frontage Road.

A suspect reportedly hit a police officer who was on bicycle patrol at the corner Cicero and Arlington. The suspect then took off from that point, which caused some officers in vehicles to start to chase him. The suspect apparently got on the Eisenhower driving west. Then he reportedly made a U-tunr, going the wrong way, headed eastbound in the westbound lanes.

Officers were still chasing behind the suspect when he crashed. Apparently, he then tried to get out of the vehicle and run. That's when shots were fired.

"Both officers exited their vehicles/ At that point, as the officers exited their vehicle, the offending vehicle again began to move in the direction of the officer on the expressway, at which point the partner, in an effort to prevent further injury to the officer, his partner fired rounds at the offending vehicle, striking the passenger in that particular vehicle," said Acting Dep. Chief Salvador Avila, Chicago Police Department.

Police confirmed they did fire several shots, and one witness said he heard five or six shots. It is not clear whether the suspect fired any shots. He was, however, taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

"They came down here and chased the car. The dude got out?There were five or six shots that rang out, and next thing you know, the dude came here and was laying down on the ground. They picked him up and put him in the wagon when the people started to run up there," said a witness, who identified himself as Trelle.

There were a number of other drivers affected by the incident, and some of them went to a police station to give police reports.

The officer hit while on bicycle patrol was taken to a hospital and his injuries were not considered serious.

Traffic was stopped for hours.

"I was driving from Northwestern to downtown and I heard about the accident so I had to take 55. It was jacked up," said motorist Patrick Glascott.

"It was frustrating just trying to get where we're going, you know, obviously being slowed down,but it kind of looks like a pretty bad accident so I can't really get too mad," said motorist Joseph Lopez.


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