Evanston motorist hits several cars on Sherman

Abbie Vansickle

Sherman Avenue was littered with shards of glass and broken side-view mirrors Thursday afternoon after a silver 1998 Honda Civic crashed into seven parked cars.

Howard Mead of the 2200 block of Maple Avenue told police he was traveling south on Sherman just after 2 p.m. when he lost control of his car, slamming it into a row of parked cars.

The Evanston Police Department issued Mead several traffic tickets, but police said no arrest would be made since he had a valid driver’s license. Lt. Curt Kuempel said Mead has a history of medical problems but declined to comment further.

“It’s just an accident — that’s all there is to it,” Kuempel said. “There’s nothing criminal here. It’s an accident.”

Evanston resident Adam Symson said he was walking along Sherman when he saw the Honda hit a row of parked cars and spin out of control.

“He was just driving along and hit a couple of cars down the street,” Symson said. “It looked to me like he was going 60 (mph) — at least 60. People were running down the street and chasing him.”

Mead continued driving down the street until his car spun 180 degrees near Foster Street, smashing into a parked Jeep Cherokee and a red construction truck, Symson said.

Mead looked dazed as he climbed slowly out of his car, examining the damage to his car. Wearing an old blue T-shirt and jeans, he scratched his head as he looked around.

“There was a fellow turning left at the intersection, and I went around on the right side,” Mead said. “I think my car got hit or something.”

Speech senior Tessa Rohde said she ran out of her apartment on Sherman after she heard screeching tires and screaming. She saw Mead’s contorted Honda sitting near her boyfriend’s smashed silver Jeep Cherokee.

“I heard people screaming, ‘Call the police!'” Rohde said, running her hands through her hair. “It’s my boyfriend’s car, and he’s at work. This is our one-year anniversary. What a great anniversary present.”

Patrick Rodkey, a construction worker, said he had parked his black Isuzu Rodeo on Sherman that morning before he started work on a nearby home. While working, Rodkey said he looked up to see Mead’s car scrape the side of his vehicle.

“He didn’t stop,” he said, touching his damaged left front tire. “He was just flying. He was just bouncing off the cars.”

Glenview resident Sharon Kobernik said she had just gone into her daughter’s apartment on Sherman to pick her up for a doctor’s appointment. When she walked back to her black Eddie Bauer Jeep, she saw it was on the grass.

“First, I thought my husband had parked badly,” she said, laughing. “Then, it dawned on me that someone hit our car. I’m just happy no one was hurt. This is unbelievable.”