WICKER PARK — A scooter rider on the wrong side of the road and “weaving in and out of traffic” crashed into a bicyclist in Wicker Park and then took off, leaving the cyclist unconscious and badly injured, police and the victim’s friends said.
Allyson Medeiros, the bicyclist, was hospitalized after the Thursday early evening crash. A tattoo artist without health insurance, Medeiros was left with fractured facial bones, four broken teeth, a broken nose and cuts that required more than 20 stitches, he wrote in posts on Instagram and GoFundMe.
There were concerns about air getting into his chest cavity as well.
The crash happened about 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1200 block of North Leavitt Street. The 32-year-old victim was riding his bike when he saw a man “weaving in and out of traffic on an electric scooter,” said Officer Kelli Bartoli, a Chicago Police spokeswoman.
The scooter rider crashed into the victim, who was unresponsive for several minutes after the incident, Bartoli said. A driver took the man to Stroger Hospital.
The scooter rider took off after the crash, Medeiros said. No information about him was available and an investigation was ongoing, Bartoli said.
A photo from the crash shows blood splattered across the pavement. Another photo shows Medeiros in a hospital bed with facial injuries.
“I am extremely happy and grateful for what happened compared to what could have happened and even more grateful to everyone that is being so helpful and loving with me right now,” wrote Medeiros, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hoping to help Medeiros with his medical bills, his coworkers created a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $10,000. As of Tuesday morning, the fundraiser had already collected more than $4,700.
Medeiros is “is humble and modest and would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need,” the fundraiser’s organizers wrote on GoFundMe. “We’re starting this fundraiser hoping to alleviate some of his stress due to bills caused by this accident, and let him concentrate on healing.”
The city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which is monitoring the scooter pilot program, is tracking injuries from the scooters by asking hospitals to report them to the Department of Public Health.
A Business Affairs and Consumer Protection spokesman said the department expected and has received reports of injuries and will be “looking very closely at” them.
“We take that very seriously,” said spokesman Isaac Reichman.
In a statement, the department added, “The safety of all residents of Chicago is our top priority throughout this four-month pilot and we are working closely with the Chicago Police Department to investigate this incident.”
Scooter mishaps have sent at least 10 people to emergency rooms so far, according to Streetsblog.
Other cities where the scooters have been around for longer have seen deaths. Just this week, Nashville’s mayor announced plans to cancel that city’s pilot after a scooter rider died in a crash while drunk.
The scooters have proven controversial among Chicagoans. There are even dueling Twitter accounts about the scooters, with one account — @ChicagoScooters — documenting when the scooters are used and stored appropriately and another — @ChicagoFails — highlighting when they aren’t.
The scooters were popular enough that there were 11,000 rides on them during their first weekend and fans say they’re more environmentally friendly than car rides.
But critics have expressed concerns the riders aren’t following the law by doing things like riding on The 606. Some are also worried the electric, dockless scooters will clutter sidewalks and make it harder for people with disabilities to get around.
The city’s pilot of the scooters started June 15 and is expected to last four months. Ten companies have 250 scooters operating in various parts of the West and Northwest sides.
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