Jennifer Heineman, 27, was commuting from her home in Roscoe Village to her job as a pastry chef in the West Loop around 10:40 a.m. today, and traveling in the bike lane, when a cab driver parked in the lane and deposited a passenger at Damen and Cortland. The opening door collided with Heineman.
Had she of been on the ground and screaming out in pain at any other place except for in front of a Chicago Fire Dept. Station (there’s a firehouse at 1915 N. Damen, at Cortland), an ambulance would not have been there so promptly. She was quickly transported to St. Mary’s Hospital where she was given X-rays, treated for cuts and bruises, and released.
It was around 2:15 p.m. today when The Pipeline encountered Heieneman walking very slowly on Damen, with her left knee bandaged up. She had walked all the way from St. Mary’s on Division back to the fire station on Damen to retrieve her bicycle which had been left there.
The Pipeline had heard about the news from Joe Lake, who’d posted this Chicago Tribune story to our Facebook page. Curious to learn more, and because we were headed in that direction anyway, we visited the busy intersection, which has a pedestrian crossing sign in the middle of the street due to the fact that there are no stop signs on Damen in either direction.
“She screamed really loud, and there were all these people all around her right away. The ambulance came right away, too. It was all cleaned up and done in less than a half hour,” Barone said, adding, “If there’s a place to get hurt, you can’t beat being in front of a fire station.”
Heineman will be responsible for the hospital charges and told The Pipeline that she will be following-up with the police to get the cab driver’s information.
“Cab drivers need to be cognizant of people in the bike lane, and they need to give their passengers the heads up if it’s OK or not to open the door,” she said.