Update April 21, 2022 — The bicyclist, Paresh Chhatrala, of the 100 block of North Hermitage, has died, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
A Joliet woman faces a felony narcotics charge after witnesses tracked her down and held her for police following a traffic crash that left a bicyclist critically injured in the West Loop on Saturday evening, prosecutors said. Police are also conducting a DUI investigation, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Konstantopoulos, but prosecutors have not charged her with impaired driving.
The 42-year-old bicyclist was heading west on the 900 block of West Madison when an eastbound driver swerved into his lane around 10:13 p.m., according to a CPD report. Witnesses said the collision sent the bicyclist flying into the air before he crashed to the pavement.
EMS took him to Stroger Hospital in critical condition with massive head and facial trauma, the police report said. Information in CPD’s crash report suggests his face struck the car’s windshield. He is a software engineer who lives on the Near West Side, according to his online presence.
While police were tending to the bicyclist, 911 callers reported that witnesses located the driver nearby on the 100 block of North Aberdeen. Officers went there and found the victim’s bike lodged under the front end of a Volkswagen Jetta, the police report said.
Police arrested the driver, 30-year-old Courtney Bertucci, who was being detained by a witness after she tried to escape on foot, Konstantopoulos said.
Officers found 2.3 grams of suspected heroin in Bertucci’s car, according to Konstantopoulos. A witness told police she may have swerved to avoid a metal construction plate in the road, the CPD report said.
Konstantopoulos said Bertucci was convicted of DUI in 2014, but she has no other criminal record.
Her public defender said she works for a cleaning company.
Judge Kelly McCarthy set bail at $10,000 “considering the injuries.” Bertucci must post 10% of the bail amount to get out of jail.