Starbucks crash 1

An early morning vehicular crash at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. 

An early morning vehicular crash at the corner of 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue sent two cars into the side of the nearby Starbucks and injured one person.

The crash occurred shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23. 

According to Gerald McSwiggan, Associate Director for Public Affairs for the University of Chicago, a driver traveling westbound on 53rd from South Hyde Park Boulevard at high speeds turned right onto Lake Park and crashed into another vehicle traveling southbound on the avenue. The collision caused both vehicles to crash into Starbucks, 1530 E. 53rd St, and the high speed driver fled the scene on foot.

The driver of the second vehicle sustained injuries and was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center, McSwiggan said.

The vehicle that caused the collision was later determined to be an unreported stolen vehicle (the owner has since made a report to CPD), according to McSwiggan. No one is in custody.    

The crash shattered the Starbucks’ window and stripped away some of the storefront’s brick facade. It also damaged the outdoor patio and planter boxes. The window has since been boarded up.

Melondy Boens, who was on shift in the Starbucks when the crash occurred, said that luckily no customers were in or near the cafe at the time of the accident.

“Thankfully, every morning there’s a regular customer that sits outside, and that lady was not sitting outside.” Boens said. She had already served six to eight customers that morning, but said that they had left minutes before the crash. 

“The sound was so disturbing, it was so loud, it almost sounded like a train coming off the tracks,” Boens said. “It’s a lot of thick glass that flew everywhere.”

The Starbucks is closed temporarily until further notice, according to a sign taped to the door. The company’s regional office could not be reached for comment.

By 10:30 a.m., a building worker was sweeping up debris from the crash. U. of C. police are investigating.

Starbucks crash 2

An early morning vehicular crash at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. 

staff writer

Zoe Pharo is a graduate of Carleton College. She was recently an editorial intern for In These Times, and has also written for Little Village and Chapel Hill Magazine. 

(2) comments

JayeRyanEastHP

"The vehicle that caused the collision was later determined to be an unreported stolen vehicle (the owner has since made a report to CPD), according to McSwiggan. No one is in custody. "

Automobile thefts, especially gun armed "Car Jacking" has gotten way out of hand in Chicago. I never even heard the term "Car Jacking" until a few years ago!

Violent crime, gang crime has been a constant my whole (I"m 61) life here in Hyde Park. But, I have noticed a huge difference (for the worse) on Chicago roads, especially Lake Shore Drive and the Dan Ryan Exp.

It's like something out of a Mad Max movie!

The speed limit on Lake Shore Drive is supposedly to be 45 MPH, I'm driving 52 MPH and cars are flying by me like I'm stopped, cars are zipping in and out of lanes and my understanding is that many, many teens are driving recklessly without having drivers licenses.

How about a crackdown on dangers drivers - so we don't have stolen vehicle car crashes like this one?

nullptr

I agree!! It is time to get tougher on crime and strengthen the punishment to deter such irresponsible and immature behavior.

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