Speeding car causes scare at Oak Park block party

Neighbors dash to curb after car ignores barriers

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

The biggest concern at a block party is typically what type of food, drinks and games should accompany the neighborhood festival.

Fleeing for your life isn't expected to make the list.

But one wild car swerving around barriers left some residents in the 600 block of South Lombard shaken Saturday night when a car plowed through a blocked off section of the road where a handful of adults were gathered.

It was about 11:45 p.m., and though it was technically past the time a block party is allowed, a few partygoers were on the street and the barriers were still up. The neighbors were gathered around a fire pit when, according to resident Amy Williams, a dark red sports car stopped nearby, its headlights flashing at the crowd.

The driver revved the engine, accelerated, and barreled down the street at what she estimated to be 40-50 mph, swerving past the barricades, and almost hitting the fire pit.

"It was really scary," Williams said. Everyone screamed and jumped to the curb; no one was able to make out the license plate number. They were glad the kids, who had all left to go home, weren't on the street.

Williams said she feels lucky everyone was OK but hopes this opens up more discussion about better barricades at block parties, possibly allowing devices like construction barriers with flashing lights. The small, plastic barricades the village permits aren't enough, she said.

While she acknowledged that the group was out after the 10 p.m. deadline for block parties, Williams thinks there still needs to be a better way to ensure safety. Cars parked blocking the street were measures they used in the past, but police told the group that was not allowed.

After the car raced through Saturday night, Williams said they called police, who came and took a report, but she hasn't heard an update since.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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Common Sense People from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: November 13th, 2012 10:54 AM

While I don't condone wreckless driving, I also feel the residents should take note...How about not sitting in the middle of the street at 11:00 pm? Move to someone's front yard, or better yet, respect the rule and end the block party at 10:00 pm.

southtown resident  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 1:03 AM

They flashed their lights at the group of people and then sped through?! sounds like they may have been under the influence. And I had no idea there was a 10pm deadline...some years the barricades are still up the next morning.

A Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2012 4:17 PM

You can probably park cars in a staggered manner as long as a fire truck can navigate around them.

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