It took firefighters 20 minutes to extricate the driver from this Chevy Cruze involved in a crash on First Avenue on Aug. 26. | Riverside Police Department

Charges are pending against a 35-year-old Chicago man who remains hospitalized with severe injuries after he allegedly drove his Chevy Cruze across the center line of First Avenue and struck a pickup truck head-on at about 7:25 p.m. Aug. 26.

Police say the Chevy was northbound, about midway between Forest Avenue and 31st Street in Riverside, when it crossed over the double yellow line into the path of the southbound truck, which was hauling a trailer full of old roofing shingles and lumber.

The impact of the crash spun the Chevy back into the northbound lanes, where it struck a northbound Hyundai Elantra driven by a 24-year-old Berwyn man. Both of those vehicles ended up off the roadway on the east side of First Avenue near the south entrance to the Zoo Woods forest preserve.

The pickup truck’s trailer flipped over completely after the impact, dumping its contents onto the roadway.

Police closed First Avenue between 31st Street and Ogden Avenue for about two hours to process and clean up the crash scene.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 31-year-old Burbank man, and the Hyundai driver escaped serious injury and were not taken to the hospital. 

It took about 20 minutes to extricate the driver of the Chevy from that vehicle, according to Riverside Director of Public Safety Matthew Buckley. Paramedics transported the driver of the Chevy to Loyola University Medical Center, where he remained as of Aug. 28.

Riverside Director of Public Safety Matthew Buckley said police “strongly believe” alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash, but that excessive speed did not appear to be involved. 

Uber driver threatens passenger

Brookfield police charged an Uber driver with aggravated assault after he pointed a handgun at a passenger who had angered him outside the Prairie Avenue Metra station, 8858 Burlington Ave., on Aug. 23 around 10 p.m., according to reports.

The victim immediately called police, but the driver was gone from the scene by the time they arrived. The victim said the driver, later identified as a 52-year-old Hammond, Indiana, man, got upset at him after he slammed the door of the 2017 Buick Encore too hard.

The driver then allegedly exited the car, walked around to the passenger side, told the victim he was going to “blow his brains out” and pointed a handgun directly at him.

Police identified the car’s driver from the Uber receipt and contacted him, telling him he needed to return to the scene. The driver pulled up at about 10:35 p.m. and reportedly admitted that he was involved in the incident and had the weapon in the vehicle.

The 9 mm Mossberg handgun was reportedly found in a holster under the front passenger seat. It was loaded with seven rounds, including one in the chamber. Another seven-round magazine was in the holster, police said.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Aug. 21-27, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

— Compiled by Bob Uphues