Motorcyclist severely injured in Harlem Ave. crash

Police say DUI charges likely after driver recovers

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By Bob Uphues


A 29-year-old North Riverside man remains hospitalized with serious injuries he sustained after he allegedly drove his motorcycle into the back of a taxi in the 3400 block of Harlem Avenue in Riverside on April 24.

According to Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, the motorcyclist is likely to be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for other traffic offenses once he's released from the hospital. Until he is charged, however, police will not identify him.

A 26-year-old North Riverside woman who was a passenger on the 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle reportedly also suffered minor injuries but refused medical aid at the scene of the crash, which occurred at about 9:50 p.m. The driver of the taxi was not hurt.

Investigators believe the motorcycle hit the taxi, a 2012 Toyota owned by Blue Cab of Oak Park, at a high rate of speed. Weitzel said the motorcycle driver sustained severe injuries to his legs and pelvis, which required surgery, but which were not life-threatening. He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where he continues to recover from his injuries.

Though there was no sign the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, he was conscious and alert while being treated by paramedics at the scene, said Weitzel, who added the driver exhibited "obvious signs of impairment."


3-vehicle crash on First Avenue

No one was hurt in a three-vehicle crash at First Avenue and Ridgewood Road in Riverside on the afternoon of April 23 that included two semi-tractor trailers, one of them a tanker.

According to the crash report obtained by the Landmark, a 57-year-old Lemont woman driving a 2001 Lincoln Town Car was headed northbound on First Avenue when she attempted to switch lanes, from the curb lane to the inside lane, in front of an empty tanker truck driven by a 60-year-old Butler, Pennsylvania, man.

However, there wasn't enough room and the tanker truck struck the Lincoln, pushing it over the centerline and into the path of a semi-tractor trailer driven by a 42-year-old Summit man.

The Lincoln spun and struck the rear of the passing semi, causing severe damage to the front end of the passenger vehicle, whose airbags deployed. None of the drivers required medical aid.

Police did not issue any citations, according to the crash report, because both semi drivers said they would be unable to go to court to testify.


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