When Riverside village trustees meet again on Aug. 2 one topic on their agenda will be the use of high-definition surveillance cameras – devices that would have been useful in helping police sort out the details of three scary crashes at the intersection of First Avenue and Forest/Ridgewood in the course of four days last week.
No one was seriously injured in any of the crashes, which happened July 24, 26 and 27, but two of the three resulted in serious vehicular damage and all three could easily have resulted in serious injury.
“That’d be a good location for any kind of hi-def camera,” said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
The one camera that is at the intersection, mounted on the southeast corner of Riverside-Brookfield High School caught all three incidents, but the fixed camera isn’t pointed in a way that can track traffic signal changes, which can help verify who’s at fault.
A high-definition camera might also have been able to get the license plate number of the vehicle that sparked the July 24 incident – and drove off before police arrived.
In that incident, which happened at 8:34 a.m., a silver or gray car turned left onto Ridgewood Road in front of a southbound black Hyundai, which swerved to avoid it and ran off the roadway into the southwest parkway.
The Hyundai grazed a teenager who was standing on the corner with her bicycle, but somehow avoided hitting a light pole, two signal switch boxes, a traffic signal, a utility pole and a cable anchoring the pole to the ground.
The teenager suffered a minor knee injury and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment. The driver of Hyundai was uninjured. Police still seek the driver of the silver vehicle.
On July 26 at 2:16 p.m., a maroon Nissan SUV reportedly tried to beat a red light at Forest Avenue while northbound on First Avenue and was clipped in the rear by a silver Toyota turning left onto Forest Avenue, causing the SUV to roll over and trapping a man and woman inside.
Firefighters extricated the couple, who sustained non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Toyota was not injured.
Finally, on July 27 at 9:43 p.m., two vehicles sustained heavy damage when they collided in the intersection.
Riverside police ticketed a 29-year-old Brookfield resident for failure to yield after he reportedly turned his black Honda Civic left onto Ridgewood Road into the path of a southbound Jeep, which had the right of way and a green light.
Neither driver was injured, but both vehicles needed to be towed from the scene.
In the July 26 and 27 incidents, police were forced to close First Avenue between 31st Street and Ogden Avenue for at least 40 minutes.