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Another light pole with a rusty base falls while landing on an SUV in Streeterville

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The strong wind on Friday was partly to blame for the fact that a street lamp crashed into two cars in Streetville.

As German Terry told CBS 2, a bigger role in the incident was played by the city of Chicago.

The base of the light pole was noticeably rusty when it lay on its side between two orange cones on Columbus Drive and Grand Avenue. Late Friday, city crews dismantled a pole that fell on Sunday, carrying two people.

The two men said they did not know what had happened to them.

– How shocked what happened? said Bailey Hippolyta.

Hippolyta was grateful that she and her boyfriend, Donavan Palmer, had left the horrible scene. Hippolyta was driving, and Palmer was sitting in the passenger seat when the lantern fell while they waited for the red light on the Grand and Columbus.

Jeff Langan / CBS 2


“I hear people shouting from the street. It’s muffled because we’re in the car, but they say, ‘My God, my God!’ an explosion, ”Hippolyta said. “It just cracked the windshield.

The pole landed right on the side of the SUV passenger where Palmer was sitting.

“I could have died if we had been a little closer, but I’m grateful to have been here,” Palmer said.

While it was windy on Friday night, Hippolyta and Palmer were embarrassed to see how easily the heavy street lamp fell. But that rusty base sheds light.

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Jeff Langan / CBS 2


“It was just so eroded. Like, I don’t even know how it was to begin with – for example, how did it get to this?” Said Hippolytus.

Defective lighting poles are a problem for CBS 2 investigators spent years dug as they fell on Chicago cars and injured people. The city has promised to fixpromising to get rid of dangerous lighting poles – but more and more continues to fall.

Just a few weeks ago a pole fell on a pole the same intersection Columbus Drive and Grand Avenue. It also had a rusty base and looked questionable for years.

Back in September, DuSable Lake Shore Drive was closed on Chicago Avenue when a light pole burst and fell.

As a result of falling poles, pedestrians were also injured. A few years ago, a pole fell on a jeep of a 25-year-old woman on Illinois Street and McClurg Court – just a block from here from the intersection where the last two incidents took place. As a result of this incident, a woman, Isabella Keating, suffered a concussion and led to a lawsuit against the city.

Before that there was Maya Kirk, who, going to work in the Loop, was knocked down by a falling light pole November 21, 2019. She blamed the Chicago administration for failing to maintain and repair lighting poles across the city.

Kirk suffered severe hearing and leg injuries when a pole broke at its base as she passed the James R. Thompson Center in Illinois, about 161 N. LaSalle St.

“I just thought it fell on me,” Kirk told CBS 2 in a January 2020 report. “How am I still here?”

The problem of a faulty pole prompted the city to order a 2.5 million-year-old inspection, when surveyors surveyed and evaluated every pillar in Chicago – more than 300,000 of them.

CBS 2 investigators broke that audit back in December and found that 10 percent – more than 30,000 Poles – were assessed as problematic.

“Go to town – fix them before they fall,” Palmer said. “It’s just a danger.”

While the Chicago Department of Transportation has replaced many lighting poles across the city. But the fact is that there are still a lot of rusty pillars around Chicago – and they keep falling.

“I would say work on it soon,” said Hippolyta. I mean, at the moment it’s careless. This is a very big danger. ”

Hippolyta and Palmer were just grateful to have left the crash – although of course they have some damage to the SUV. But mostly they want to know what the city of Chicago is doing to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

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