By John Byrne
8:16 AM EDT, September 4, 2013
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's morning coffee fix was interrupted Tuesday when he stopped to comfort a bicyclist involved in an accident with a truck.
Around 8:30 a.m., the mayor stopped to pick up a drink at Big Shoulders Coffee near the intersection of Milwaukee, Chicago and Ogden avenues when he heard a loud noise outside, spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said.
The mayor ran around the corner to find a woman on a bike had been hurt in a crash, and he stayed with her until an ambulance arrived, Hamilton said.
Charles Festa was sitting in Big Shoulders when he heard a scream. When Festa rounded the corner onto Milwaukee, sometimes called "the hipster highway" for the heavy bike traffic, he said he saw three cyclists and their rides on the ground near a tractor-trailer. Emanuel was kneeling next to a woman, Festa said.
"She looked OK. It seemed like she was mostly freaked out. She had been hit by a truck," Festa said.
Judging by the aftermath, the large truck might have tried to turn right onto Ogden from the middle lane of Milwaukee, Festa said.
"The truck was going slowly on the turn, so when it hit the bikes, it stopped quickly," he said.
Two ambulances and a fire engine reported to the scene, but nobody was hurt seriously enough to require hospitalization, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. The Chicago Police Department had no record of the crash.
The mayor has made cycling a priority, adding bicycle-only lanes to city streets and starting the Divvy bike-sharing program that's already proved popular.
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