Woman in motorized wheelchair struck by car on First Street

By Daily Illini Staff Report

A pickup truck struck a woman in a motorized wheelchair around 12:15 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Armory Ave. and First Street.

Students on a 22 Illini bus traveling southbound on First Street witnessed the accident. The woman crossed in front of the bus when it stopped at the intersection and did not appear to see the truck traveling toward her.

Paul Taylor, the driver of the bus, honked multiple times to warn the woman to stop, but she was hit by the forest green Tacoma pickup truck.

Students on the bus immediately stood up and gasped. Most put their hands to their mouth.

“We’re going to be here a while,” Taylor warned the passengers several times.

The woman sitting in the passenger seat of the truck reached out from her window to put her hand on the victim asking if she was okay. The victim seemed unharmed. The male driver got out of the car.

A state police officer traveling in an unmarked truck was driving north on First Street at the time of the accident. He turned his vehicle around and brought out a blanket to wrap around the woman.

An ambulance arrived at the scene and briefly provided medical attention to the woman.

Police at the scene refused comment without a supervisor present.

“This is why we tell you not to cross in front of the bus,” Taylor said to the students packed into the bus.

The victim went away of her own power, her wheelchair seemingly unharmed, and left the police with the driver of the Tacoma. The victim declined to give her name.

According to Graham Conaster, a resident of a house on the southwest corner of the intersection who was leaving his house at the time of the accident, the woman appeared to be fine.

“This is a prime spot for accidents, it’s like the third one this year,” Conaster said. “I can hear them all the time.”

Rachel Rubin and Steve Contorno contributed to this report.