November 30, 2023

Chicago Firefighters Rescue Couple Out of Car on Frozen Lagoon


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CHICAGO — A woman was killed and a man was critically injured when their Lexus veered off Lake Shore Drive and flipped over on a frozen lagoon in Lincoln Park early Monday morning.

Police were called to the 2200 block of North Lake Shore Drive around 1:45 a.m. after getting reports of a car crashing into the Diversey Harbor lagoon in Lincoln Park, according to Chicago police spokeswoman Amina Greer.

Rescue crews found the sedan flipped over on the ice-covered lagoon. The Police Department’s marine unit ran two lines of rope across the lagoon as a small team worked to free the pair trapped inside the car.


The team used sleds to move the two to waiting ambulances.  As team members worked, police and paramedics watched from the banks of the lagoon.

Debris from the mangled car was spread out over the ice. A section of the guardrail along the west side of Lake Shore Drive was gone, marking the point where the car had barreled off the road.

Both people were initially taken to hospitals in serious-to-critical condition, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Will Knight. The woman, 37, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m. She was later identified as Claudie Beruben, of the 12400 block of South Laflin Street in Calumet Park, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The man was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition, authorities said.

Police closed three lanes of southbound traffic on Lake Shore Drive for emergency equipment at the scene. Early Monday morning, southbound traffic was moving past the crash site, but police had closed off the Fullerton on-ramp heading south.

After 5 a.m., crews had removed the car from the ice and traffic had returned to normal.

Authorities believe alcohol may have been a factor in crash. The Police Department’s Major Accidents Unit was investigating.


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