The Maya Hirsch settlement will help save the lives of other Chicago children


Maya Hirsch with her father, courtesy of the Stop for Maya foundation.

On Wednesday Chicago City Council approved a $3.25 million settlement with the family of Maya Hirsch, a four-year-old girl who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Lincoln Park, possibly due to poorly placed signs and faded crosswalks. Under the Emanuel administration the city has ramped up its efforts to improve pedestrian safety, but the settlement highlights the need to continue these efforts, which will help prevent similar tragedies.

On the afternoon of May 20, 2006, after visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, Maya and her mother and older brother were crossing the intersection of Belden Avenue and Lincoln Park West to catch a cab when Michael Roth, 57, driving northbound, ran the stop sign. Roth, who had worked as a driving instructor in the early 1980s, but had his driver’s license revoked for several years after two DUI convictions, had a valid license at the time of the crash.

Continue reading The Maya Hirsch settlement will help save the lives of other Chicago children

Kinzie Street crash story: Report them all


Last Tuesday a friend of mine called me around 6 PM to describe that he had just witnessed a cyclist get involved in a collision with an automobile at Canal Street and Kinzie Street. From my friend’s point of view (which was a couple hundred feet west of the intersection), the cyclist was turning left from westbound Kinzie Street (after exiting the bridge) onto southbound Canal Street. The driver was traveling east on Kinzie Street.

My friend approached the scene and asked the driver to pull over and exchange information with the cyclist. The driver moved her car to Canal Street. My friend then met with the fallen cyclist and talked him through all of the steps of things to do after a crash:

  1. Call police and file a crash report
  2. Keep calm (this is probably the hardest part and I have no doubt that my friend’s presence here served to reassure the cyclist that they were not alone in this crash). This includes not talking about who might be at fault.
  3. Get witness information
  4. Preserve evidence; get information from the other parties; take pictures (my friend photographed the driver involved)
  5. Take care of yourself, get medical attention (this cyclist didn’t want it when asked by the 911 operator)

Continue reading Kinzie Street crash story: Report them all