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Taxicab Strikes And Kills Pedestrian In Downtown Chicago

A taxicab struck a pedestrian around 8:47 this morning, killing the pedestrian. The accident occurred at the parking garage at Illinois and Columbus drive. Two others were injured, the driver of the taxi and the taxi passenger.

The pedestrian was dead at the scene, after being hit by the taxi after the taxi lost control. Shortly before impact he had been walking down the street. A surveillance video near the accident captured the pedestrian walking east on Illinois Street. After a few seconds, the cab can be seen apparently passing another car on the right just before the intersection with Columbus Drive. As the pedestrian passes a set of tables and reaches the driveway of the parking garage, the pedestrian turns his head to the right briefly, just before the cab skids toward the garage. The pedestrian then disappears from view and the cab comes to rest against the garage.

The cab passenger, a 51-year old woman, had to be cut out of the back seat, according to witnesses and police. She suffered a broken leg and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The cab driver, 71, was in fair condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital this afternoon. He suffered injuries considered non life-threatening, such as cuts and bruises.

More on this story can be seen at the June 27 Chicago Tribune story titled “1 dead, 2 hurt when cab hits parking garage in Streeterville.”

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation City Summary Crash Report for Chicago, Year 2009 (the most recent data available), the amount of pedestrian accidents and fatalities is not insignificant.

Taxicab accidents are relatively common, due to the number of miles such vehicles are driven.

Taxicab accidents can be caused by a range of factors. These factors include driver error; drunk driving or drug use by the taxicab driver; errors in judgment by other motorists; equipment malfunction; poor weather conditions; and poor roadway conditions.

While it has yet to be disclosed as to what caused the above-mentioned taxicab accident, the Chicago Tribune story said the following:

Alex Perrin, 23, said he was walking to work at theChicago Tribune when he saw the Checker cab “going fast” down Illinois. It appeared to cut off another cab, then swerved out of control and hit a man standing on the sidewalk on the north side of Illinois, he said.

As the story also indicated:

The intersection of Illinois and Columbus was the scene of a fatal accident in May when a tour bus making a turn struck Justyna Palka, a 26-year-old graphic artist. The driver was charged with driving under the influence.

That accident was detailed in this blog in a May 4 post titled “Woman Struck And Killed By Tour Bus In Chicago, Illinois”