If I were to ever get hit by a car, I figured it’d likely happen near the Green Line somewhere in Chicago. I just never anticipated that I actually would and that it would have happened in Oak Park.
Yep, I was hit last Wednesday while crossing Oak Park Avenue at South Boulevard, just in front of the viaduct. I was trying to catch the Green Line that was just arriving heading east. The light turned green and I dashed toward the station’s entrance. But before dashing, some dumb-ass driver heading south ran the yellow light that had just turned red and then did – of all things – a U-turn from his right lane into the left lane going back north – right at South Boulevard and Oak Park Avenue.
Never in the history of buffoonery have I ever seen a buffoon attempt such a dangerous thing. Oak Park streets are very tight. Oak Park and South even more so. Did this driver make it? Of course not. The person couldn’t make the turn and was jammed in the left lane just in front of the viaduct. I dashed across the street, but before doing so I just looked at this person. Then, this “driver” started to back up. Now, I don’t drive but I know a few things about the rules of the road and what my dad has referred to as “commonsense driving.”
A) You don’t make dumb-ass, dangerous and illegal U-turns, unless you’ve got a pregnant woman in the back seat or something. And B) you don’t back up after failing to make the U-turn while the crosswalk has a green light and pedestrians are crossing the dang street! You stay your dumb, no-driving ass where you are until the crosswalk is clear.
As I ran to the other side – my light was green and I had the right of way – this “driver” backed into me. Not at any top speed. The person clearly wasn’t looking behind or mindful of his surroundings. I wasn’t knocked to the ground, although I should have fallen out in the street screaming “Whiplash!!!” so I can sue.
A lady who was in front of the Green Line entrance waiting to cross South Boulevard heading south looked at me, and we both gave each other that silent, “can you believe this %&^#%$@” look. And I was obviously more focused on catching the train, which I did.
But I did throw whatever I had in my hand at the car as I passed, the non-driver still backing up. Now, two weeks ago was a tough week for me. Then this happened on Wednesday. When I got home, I stepped in yelling, “Thank you Jesus; I made it home; ohhhh thank you, thank you heavenly father.” I kneeled down to touch the floor and hugged my family – clearly I hadn’t lost my sarcasm, and my adrenaline was still going. I had to lie down just to relax.
As for the driver: It appeared to be a teenager and he had two or three others in the car, a black four-door something. They all looked like teens. Or maybe they weren’t. Or maybe they were all aliens impersonating teenage-looking earthlings. Regardless, I’ve never been hit, or in this case, grazed by a car. Not even in Chicago. Not even at Cicero and Lake Street in Chicago, also a Green Line stop and not far from where I live.
That corner is kind of known as “the kill zone,” because you’re likely to find bits and pieces of cars scattering the area. Crashes happen there a lot. Some drivers are pretty reckless there. I’ve seen them. The kill zone hasn’t gotten me, but that alien driver did.
I live to walk again.