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Woman charged with striking bicyclist, attempting to flee on Chicago's Near West Side

Surveillance video shows bicyclist struck by driver in West Loop 02:40

CHICAGO (CBS) – A woman is facing charges after hitting a bicyclist Saturday night on Chicago's Near West Side.

Courtney Bertucci, 30, of Joliet is charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also cited for operating an uninsured motor vehicle and pedestrian in roadway-due care.   

An employee of a nearby building who was there Saturday night when the crash happened said it was so loud she thought it was a gunshot. 

Surveillance video shows a 43-year-old man biking west on Madison just after 10pm Saturday night.

Police say around 10:10 p.m., Bertucci was driving a silver 2008 Volkswagen Jetta eastbound on the 900 block of West Madison when she swerved into oncoming westbound traffic due to a metal construction cover - striking the bicyclist.

The man was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition. 

Police said the woman drove off and somehow ended up several blocks away on Monroe and Aberdeen. The bike appeared to have stayed with the car. 

Police said witnesses kept the woman on scene until they arrived and took her into custody. 

Moshe Tamssot has lived in the West Loop for 18 years and believes Madison between Halsted and Ashland is becoming a more dangerous stretch of road. This crash is the latest on Madison Street, which last November saw a drunk driver ram through the the wall of a fitness studio.

"It's been dramatic in terms of both the volume of traffic and speed," Tamssot said. "Ever since they took out the Madison planters, that's turned Madison from a four-lane street into a five-lane street which increases speed as well as throughput which increases the safety hazard to pedestrians and cyclists."'

Tamssot runs the True West Loop Facebook group. He said he noticed a change after the median planters were removed in 2019.

"That's turned Madison from a four-lane street into a five-lane street which increases speed as well as throughput which increases the safety hazard to pedestrians and cyclists," he said.   

Armando Chacon has led the West Central Association for a decade. As someone who lives and works in the neighborhood, he said he sees drivers speeding and blowing stop signs.  

 "We need to slow traffic down on Madison Street. Period," he said.   

Chacon says the association is trying to do just that - successfully advocating for a stop sign to be added at Throop Street and currently pushing for another on Laflin. Making Madison more pedestrian friendly, he says, could include raised intersection, bumpouts and flashing stop signs. Every serious crash serving as a reminder of how change needs to happen, he said, and fast.  

CBS 2 reached out to the Chicago Department of Transportation to find out whether that construction cover was supposed to be in the street Saturday night. There are a lot of construction signs along this stretch of Madison but it is not clear which one she was swerving to avoid. 

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