Cab driver who hit two pedestrians cited

CHICAGO The taxi cab driver, Brian Duako, remains hospitalized in good condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He has a serious leg injury, but is expected to be OK.

Police cited Duako, 38, with negligent driving after his cab jumped a curb and struck two pedestrians before slamming into a light pole at Adams and South Riverside Plaza during the morning rush hour.

"It was very crowded, very busy. This time of day there are thousands of people that walk by here. They are kind of lucky not to be involved, not as many people were involved because of the massive amount of people that come through this area every day," said Deputy District Chief Joseph Roccasalva, Chicago Fire Department.

Officials said the driver was getting out of his taxi when he realized it was still in reverse. According to Chicago Police Sergeant Antoinette Ursitti, Duako's leg got caught and he hit the accelerator instead of the brake, sending the cab careening onto the sidewalk. The car came to a stop after being pinned against a light pole.

"He had to be extradited from the cab," said Dep. Dist. Chief Joseph Roccasalva, Chicago Fire Dept. "Once we got the door open, we were able to get him out."

The two pedestrians were taken to local hospitals where they were treated and released.

Witnesses said Duako was arguing with another cab driver at the crosswalk.

"I heard a lot of screaming and yelling and commotion. I saw it when it started right here. There was traffic in the way. By the time I got here, I saw the lady actually fly off the ground. She was an older lady, too. I ran over there right away," said Shaun Shostack, witness.

A passenger in Duako's cab refused treatment.

"The woman I was taking care of was maybe in her early 20s. But she was conscious enough that she was calling her parents," said Shostack.

Duako is scheduled to appear in traffic court on June 4.

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