Retired Chicago reporter in coma after lakefront bicycle accident

The next 72 hours are critical for a well-known Chicago reporter after a mysterious bicycle accident left her in a coma.

The long time Chicago reporter is now fighting for her life.

76-year-old Elizabeth Brackett is in a coma with a broken neck after a bike accident Wednesday on a south side lakefront trail.

While her family's been by her side at Stroger Hospital, so have members of her "TV family" like Phil Ponce who worked with Brackett more than 2 decades on WTTW’s ‘Chicago Tonight.’

“Elizabeth Brackett is one of the toughest, one of the most intense, one of the most competitive people I know and she is a fighter. She does not like to lose,” Ponce said.

It's not known what caused Brackett to crash along the trail. Her family says a passerby found her and performed CPR and then a Chicago police officer stepped in.

“A passerby did start CPR which is critical because of the potential loss of oxygen to her brain,” Ponce said. “But for the actions of that passerby and that police officer we would not be having this conversation about hope for Elizabeth.”

Ponce says, of course, Brackett was wearing a helmet. She is a very experienced biker, even a world champion triathlete who took up the sport at age 50.

“She is so strong and so fit and we think that's going to make a huge difference in her recovery,” Ponce said.

Ponce says they remain optimistic that Brackett has not reported her last story yet.

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