CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A teenage bicyclist was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver Thursday in Ravenswood on the North Side, and at least one worker in the area said construction in the area has made the intersection unsafe.
The 17-year-old boy was riding in the intersection of Montrose and Western avenues about 3:11 p.m. when the cyclist was struck by a black Lexus SUV turning left on to Montrose, Chicago police said. The driver continued west on Montrose and did not stop.
The cyclist was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, police and Chicago Fire Department officials said.
Police released photos Thursday night of a dark gray Lexis SUV wanted in the crash. The force of impact shattered the Lexis' rear passenger door window, and may have damaged the door as well, police said. The vehicle had mirror-tinted windows.
Yvonne Montijo, a waitress at Jeri's Grill, which is located at the intersection, said she saw the boy after he was hit.
"The kid was laying in the street there," she said. "We didn't hear no screeching, no tires or anything, because we would've looked then if we would've heard that."
Don Price, another Jeri's employee, said construction on Western just north of Montrose had been "causing havoc" for drivers and others using the streets.
As for the driver, Price said "there's no way [they] didn't know what happened."
A woman from the neighborhood who was driving in the area described the frantic scene that unfolded moments after the collision.
"They told me that the kid went flying in the air," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
She said a group of ComEd workers from the nearby construction site chased the vehicle that struck the teen for three blocks, adding that one of them got a partial license plate.
After realizing what happened, she stopped her car, gave towels to the people tending to the boy and directed others to get him some ice, she said.
"He had a hole in his head," the woman said. "You could see his skull."
After unsuccessfully searching the area for a doctor or nurse, the woman used the bright pink dress she was wearing to help flag down first responders, she said.
"It was horrid," she added.
Montijo said she hopes the suspect was caught on video surveillance, noting that a nearby bank and taco shop have ample cameras.
By 6:45 p.m., normal traffic had resumed at the intersection. Bicyclists and joggers made their way past the scene near Welles Park, but no officers were left investigating the crash.