A few weeks back, I was on my way home with only a block to go. I took my Cubs game day route because the game was supposed to start at 7 and the traffic and crosswalks can get ridiculous. So there I am, sitting at the light on Newport at Clark and Sheffield waiting for the green when out of nowhere, a car tire comes bouncing high down the sidewalk to my right and it whacked a poor unsuspecting guy on the back of the head bringing him face-first to the ground. He sat up on the corner; he was dazed and rubbing the back of his head. With the game starting soon, there were people everywhere, including a crossing guard on the other side of the intersection who risked her life to run across the intersection to help. I sat there stunned with my hand over my mouth and eyes wide open. Did I REALLY just see that happen???
A few random unrelated people who had been walking a few yards behind him quickly grabbed their phones and dialed what I presume was 911. Meanwhile the tire had bounced across the intersection and hit the front of a bus, and the bus driver got off the bus and walked over to the man. Someone came by with a pashmina that they offered to the man but the crossing guard dismissed their offer and continued to talk to the poor guy with her arm around his shoulders. She was comforting him, trying to keep him alert, and alerting the powers that be on her radio. As I sat there in my car trying to keep traffic behind me at bay, a crazy taxi driver who I’m sure had no clue what had just happened feet in front of me at the intersection squeezed past me, hesitated at the light for a second when he noticed something was going on, then proceeded to run the red light. Nice, buddy.
I wanted to get out of the car and help, but there were people all around and I wasn’t sure exactly what more I’d be able to do. Then I heard the sirens in the distance and took that as my cue to get going and make room for the paramedics.
I was told later that night that it made the news, so I went online to see what the stories said. I was curious as to where the tire actually came from, but more importantly that the man was ok. And it was ridiculous how the details of the news stories were very wrong. A few of them said he was hit in the face. Then I started feeling really guilty when I saw the video of the paramedics putting the man on a stretcher, laying him on his back, his head directly on the stretcher where he was hit. If I had stayed and told them what I saw, that he had actually been hit in the back of the head, would it have helped them in any way? Though I’m guessing they probably figured it out when they saw him.
Another news story said, and I quote:
“There was blood all around him,” said NBC Chicago photographer Mike McGovern. “I was worried because I thought he was dead. Then I saw him blink and I said, ‘Thank God he was OK.'”
Ridiculous. I’m not one to comment on news websites, well, ever, but this one really chapped my hide that he so boldly exaggerated the details. So I commented with hopes of setting the record straight of what actually happened in front of my eyes:
“I was a witness to the man getting hit by the tire and whoever said that there was blood all around him was wrong. The tire hit him in the back of the head and he fell forward on his hands, then sat on the sidewalk for a while with a crossing guard until emergency crews showed up. I hate when people exaggerate details. Yes, it was serious, no he was not bleeding profusely and dying. 5:51 AM, 5.19.10”
And just this morning I went on to see if anyone else had commented and this was on there:
I’ve been looking everywhere online to substantiate this comment but haven’t been able to find a thing. If it is true, I am so saddened by such a random loss of an innocent man. Life is so short and it makes you realize that it could all be gone in the blink of an eye. If it’s not true, which I pray, then that comment was seriously a cruel and distasteful joke.
If anyone knows the outcome of all of this, I’d love to know if the man I saw happily walking down the street, minding his own business, possibly on his way to the game, or a bar, or to meet his wife, or mother, or best friend, is ok.