Picnickers rescue two women after driver loses control at Schiller Woods
by BRIAN NADIG and CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
About 30 people rescued two women from under a car after an 89-year-old driver lost control of her Honda CR-V during a Polish family picnic event at about 6:50 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at the east Schiller Woods Forest Preserve near Irving Park Road and Cumberland Avenue.
“It happened right in front of me,” 22-year-old Michael Jaworski said. “She put her car into reverse instead of drive, with the door open (and) went into the whole crowd. … She fell out (and) hurt herself.” Six people in the crowd reportedly were injured.
Jaworski said that he and a large group of people immediately went to rescue the two women who were trapped under the car.
The group lifted the SUV and pulled the women to safety. He said that one of the women suffered knee and head injuries, adding that the car appeared to be traveling 10 to 12 mph when it went into the crowd. The crowd was gathered for a Polish picnic by the Society of Friends of Radgoszcz.
Seven people, including the driver, were transported to area hospitals, and one is in intensive care, but none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, according to Forest Preserves of Cook County director of communications Carl Vogel.
No citations or charges have been filed due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, which is being treated as an accident, and it has been determined that drugs or alcohol were not a factor, Vogel said.
The woman was a vendor at the event and had been allowed to park on the grass near the picnic grove, Jaworski said. She had been “packing her stuff up” just prior to the accident, he said.
Jaworski said that he often played football, fished and hiked at Schiller Woods.