Driver runs through Critical Mass, injures young rider

Ten-year-old Will Healy was looking forward to the Critical Mass bike ride last Friday because he wanted to see Berwyn's Spindle statue.

Instead he took spent the evening getting examined at Stroger Hospital.

As Healy, three of his siblings and their parents rode in the 1300 block of West 18th Street, a burgundy Cadillac attempted to push through the mass of about one hundred bikers, police said.

The car hit Healy, who flew onto the hood.

"Then the car lurched and he cartwheeled onto the road," said his mother, Jane. "Someone from the crowd dragged him into the gutter otherwise he would have been run over for sure.

"He looks pretty spectacular today, purple and yellow bruises everywhere. Luckily he was wearing his helmet, so there were no head injuries ... I think a guardian angel was looking out for him."

According to his mother, Will's bike was dragged under the car for several blocks, and several other participants' bikes were damaged.

Critical Mass is a loosely organized bicycle advocacy ride that leaves from the Daley Center on the last Friday of each month. Last week's ride to suburban Berwyn was part of an effort to save the Spindle, a stack of old cars impaled on a steel spike.

The kitschy sculpture was featured in the movie Wayne's World, and is slated for demolition to make way for a new Walgreen's.

Police said the driver who injured Healy pushed through the the tail end of the group of fifteen hundred cyclists.

The driver, Robert Rogers, 34, of Maywood, was pulled over and immediately arrested by officers who witnessed the incident, police said.

He was charged with drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and other traffic offenses.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that the accident took place in the 1300 block of West 18th Street. An earlier version of the article gave a different location.


WILLOW, 07-31-2007

This was no accident. It was intentional.

KATHY SCHUBERT, 07-31-2007

I'd like to put this story on my Helmets Save Heads website. May I have the author's and publisher's permission?

A, 07-31-2007

Were there 100 or 1500 cyclists. Critical Mass rules, by the way.



I believe what we're trying to say here is that the ride drew about 1,500 cyclists, but that the pack the Cadillac drove through was about 100. Sorry we weren't more clear about that.

Kathy: why don't you just summarize it and link to us?

Willow: Your opinion. The motorist is not charged with intentionally trying to run over someone.

CAROLINA, 08-10-2007

chicago needs to inforce more bicycle safety and awareness what happens to those the police don't catch