LOGAN SQUARE — A bartender at the popular tiki bar Lost Lake was hit by a CTA bus while riding her bike over the weekend — and now her coworkers and friends are stepping up to help fund her recovery.
At about 11 p.m. Friday, Desira Miller, who goes by “Baby D,” was biking home with her boyfriend near Belmont and Central Park avenues when a bus driver turned left and hit her, according to her coworkers.
Miller was sent to the hospital with a compound fracture in her leg and finger, broken rib, broken arm and a fractured skull.
Andy Allison, one of the bar managers at Lost Lake, said Miller might not have survived had she not been wearing a helmet.
“She’s one of the most badass people I’ve ever met. She’s a skateboarder and a cyclist, so she’s absorbed some spills,” Allison said.
“She’s more thankful that she’s alive more than anything. If she didn’t have a helmet on, it could’ve been a different outcome.”
CTA officials said an investigation is underway.
The 27-year-old has insurance through Lost Lake, but 90 percent of her income comes from tips, which she won’t be collecting while she’s at home recovering for the next eight weeks.
“She’s parked up on a couch, has to get a shower chair, the whole nine [yards],” Allison said.
To help Miller pay for medical bills and everyday expenses while she’s out of work, Allison and the rest of the Lost Lake crew are throwing a fundraiser at the bar (3154 W. Diversey Ave.) Wednesday evening. There will be drink specials and raffle prizes, including a rum tasting — all benefitting Miller.
Plus, folks from local bike and skateboard shops will be there, donating helmets, lights and other gear.
Friends of Miller have also launched a GoFundMe, which has already raised $3,077 toward its $4,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We are so, so, so grateful that she’s still with us,” the fundraiser reads.
“She’s starting school in a couple weeks and won’t be able to work for 3 months. This is just a small fund so she can stay on top of things while she recovers.”
Miller, who has worked at Lost Lake for three years, came home from the hospital Tuesday. Allison said her “spirits are high.”
“She’s a very positive person. She’s always looking at the glass half full as opposed to half empty,” he said.
Julia Gordon, another bar manager at Lost Lake, described Miller as “one of the tougher people” she knows.
“If her boyfriend hadn’t been there, she would’ve gotten up and tried to walk away from it,” she said.