12/04/2007

Ill. officer, bicyclist recovering after crash

By Dennis Sullivan
Special to the Tribune

JOLIET, Ill. — A Joliet police supervisor and a bicyclist remained hospitalized Monday following a collision at Illinois Highway 53 and Patterson Road shortly after midnight Saturday, officials said.

The bicyclist, Cedric Bacon, 53, who had been staying at a Joliet homeless center, was recovering from surgery at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood for internal injuries and a broken leg. The supervisor, whom Police Chief Fred Hayes declined to identify, was being treated for facial and head injuries at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet.

Bacon's condition "has not allowed us to talk to him yet, and we've only been able to talk preliminarily with the supervisor," Hayes said. "It's a little bit concerning to us; we didn't expect the supervisor to be there more than a day."

Hayes said the injured officer was the second of two supervisors responding to a weapons-related chase that had ended several minutes earlier near the intersection. Witnesses said both squads were operating their emergency lights, Hayes said.

Witnesses reported the first squad passed Bacon at the intersection, but the second struck the bicycle and careened off the right shoulder, striking a control box and light pole, Hayes said.

Police were investigating whether the light pole was working at the time of the crash, he said. The investigation suggests the supervisors would have had difficulty seeing Bacon.

"The bicyclist had no reflector lights, no lighting fixtures and was wearing dark clothing," Hayes said.

Bacon didn't respond to the squads' emergency signals and was weaving in the road, Hayes said.

Police were asking for help locating Bacon's relatives. Anyone with information should call police at 815-724-3201.

Copyright 2007 The Chicago Tribune

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