Skokie man, 72, crashes car into pole outside Bennison’s

Erin Ailworth

All he wanted was a cup of coffee.

Instead 72-year-old Joseph Segal, a Bennison’s Bakery regular, wrapped his car around a pole at 1000 Davis Street on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m a little bit dizzy,” said Segal, a Skokie resident.

Segal was driving a four-door Buick west on Davis when he suddenly made a U-turn and began driving the wrong way, said Lt. Curt Kuempel of the Evanston Police Department.

Witnesses told police the man “accelerated suddenly over the curb” and began driving on the sidewalk before he hit the pole, knocking it off its base, Kuempel said.

Police cordoned off the crash site and restricted access to Davis after the 3:15 p.m. accident.

Despite witness reports, Segal said he was simply driving west on Davis, near Maple Avenue when he “saw an empty spot for the disabled” and decided to pull in.

“I was not driving the wrong way,” he said, then declined further comment on the accident.

The Segals visit Bennison’s every Saturday, bakery owner Jory Downer said.

Segal’s wife was inside Bennison’s buying a cup of coffee when the crash occurred, Downer said.

“She turned around and said, ‘Oh my God, that’s my husband,'” he added.

“He totally plowed into it (the pole),” said Mattie Hawkinson, 21, a Speech junior who lives across the street from the crash site.

“His car was buckled around the pole,” she added. “I’m really surprised he wasn’t hurt.”

Segal looked incoherent as he leaned against one of the bakery’s windows and answered questions for police, Hawkinson said, but he didn’t seem badly injured.

Kuempel said Segal was taken to an area hospital to check for injuries, but he has since been released.

Segal was written a ticket for damaging city property and for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Kuempel said.

He is scheduled to appear May 23 at Circuit Court in Skokie where a fine will be issued.