Motoring Down the Chicago River at Sunrise

The caption for this picture is “A boat motors down the Chicago River shortly after sunrise in Chicago, Illinois.”¬†That’s is the short version. The long version is after taking this picture I continued my way South, walked down the sketchy looking staircase to ground level and moseyed along the river for a bit. It was a beautiful September morning and I was just wandering around the Chicago River to see what I could find photographically.

There is a stairwell at Columbus Drive going up a couple of street levels. The first level is Lower Wacker Drive and up another level is Upper Wacker Drive. As I climbed the steps to Upper Wacker Drive, I heard an extremely loud sound.

You know the sound of a dump truck unloading gravel? That sound of gravel scraping followed by a loud “thud” of the back door swinging closed on the truck’s bed? Basically a “scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape, THUD.” I heard exactly the opposite of that sound near the top of the steps.

THUD.

Scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape.

Arriving a street level I was immediately surprised to not see whatever dump or garbage truck made the noise. Perhaps the mystery truck hit a pot-hole and the bed of the truck bounced? (Plausible as we do have some ferocious pot-holes in Chicago.)

Oh wait. There is a car upside down 50 feet beyond another car with the front end sheered off.

The sound I heard was that of the two cars connecting and the overturned car scraping along the roadway. The flipped car eventually came to rest against a large concrete abutment.

The driver of the overturned car quickly got out of her car screaming “OhmyGod!OhmyGod!OhmyGod!OhmyGod!…” while the driver of the other car wasn’t really getting out of his car. I went over to him while the others attended to the screaming woman.

After helping the gentleman from the car missing its front-end, the man called his wife and simply told her “to call the insurance company.” His chest hurt (hopefully from the blast of the airbag), but I was happy he was standing outside of his car under his own power talking.

Within minutes the Chicago Fire Department rolled up and a large fire truck stopped in the middle of the intersection. The firefighters got out and looked at the man and I standing in the road next to the destroyed car. The first firefighter said “How we doing?”

“His chest hurts and she has some other issues,” pointing to the overturned car.

“Oh [expletive]!” said the firefighter and off he and a few others went.

I didn’t stay much longer at the scene. I took off once the firefighters had arrived and everyone received the appropriate attention. It kind of rattles you, however, when you’re walking along and everything is going well, and then, not-so-much. Luckily everyone was okay, but it still made me want to go home and hug my wife.

(9531) 0911.

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