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Accident Aftermath A Reminder Of How Impersonal News Has Become

By JoshMogerman in News on Apr 22, 2012 9:00PM

Accident scene at 47th and Wentworth, overlooking the Dan Ryan Expressway [jmogs]
It's easy to ignore the numbingly common reports of shootings and accidents that litter the breaking news sections of most news outlet websites. They are often quick, impersonal, and lacking basic information. But last night, the Chicagoist Bronzeville bureau got a real-world reminder of the bedlam that follows many of these incidents that almost never makes it into the Trib or Sun-Times.

The scene at the 47th Street exit of the Dan Ryan at about 11:10 p.m. was a chaotic mess. Five minutes earlier, a speeding car had bumped an outer wall on the expressway and careened across three lanes of traffic, before shooting all the way up the grassy hill embankment into a street level safety barrier, dangerously close to a busy CTA red line and bus stop. In the aftermath, lit with the colored lights of quick-responding Chicago Police and Department of Transportation vehicles, we witnessed dozens of people scrambling around on the hill next to the expressway and a mass of dazed and concerned onlookers peering down from behind the safety barriers on 47th while authorities secured the scene.

Though the incident left one passenger dead and another seriously injured (the driver fled the scene and remains a fugitive), there is little evidence of the evening’s harrowing event today. Ripped fencing, a bent barrier, and a half-secured line of yellow police tape are all that mark the spot, leaving it almost as impersonal as the news coverage of the accident.