Bringing Down the House

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Earlier this week, news broke that a late night accident snarled traffic on the Ike. The details were sketchy but there was a fatality. The next morning the office was abuzz. The woman killed in the crash was an “Eight Forty-Eight” intern named Danielle Baker. The building was in shock. I didn’t work with Danielle that much, but I knew her. But she definitely had an impact on the staff because heads hung low and there was a lot of whispering. My heart goes out to her family, including her 14 month old daughter. It’s just devastating. And it really has had a profound impact on me.

congress.jpg

Earlier this week, news broke that a late night accident snarled traffic on the Ike. The details were sketchy but there was a fatality. The next morning the office was abuzz. The woman killed in the crash was an “Eight Forty-Eight” intern named Danielle Baker. The building was in shock. I didn’t work with Danielle that much, but I knew her. But she definitely had an impact on the staff because heads hung low and there was a lot of whispering. My heart goes out to her family, including her 14 month old daughter. It’s just devastating. And it really has had a profound impact on me.

congress.jpg

Earlier this week, news broke that a late night accident snarled traffic on the Ike. The details were sketchy but there was a fatality. The next morning the office was abuzz. The woman killed in the crash was an “Eight Forty-Eight” intern named Danielle Baker. The building was in shock. I didn’t work with Danielle that much, but I knew her. But she definitely had an impact on the staff because heads hung low and there was a lot of whispering. My heart goes out to her family, including her 14 month old daughter. It’s just devastating. And it really has had a profound impact on me.

Not to make Danielle about me, but I take the expressway home from work every night. Schadenfreude meets in Ravenswood til the wee hours and I live in the West Loop. So for a stretch, I grab the Kennedy to cut off some time. Stephen does the second jog of that commute and heads out to Berwyn on the Ike. Danielle’s accident reminded me that in a split second, the expressway becomes the most dangerous place in the world. It’s always in your head. You know that you are going 70 in really tight quarters. Merging, switching lanes, breaking quickly. And you see it every night. One black shiny sportscar weaving in and out around you and in front of you and right up behind you. In a millisecond, their brake lights fade in front and they are gone. You don’t think twice.

In Danielle’s case, she was rear-ended by one of these guys. And nothing will ever be the same again for Danielle’s mother, her extended family and her 14 month old daughter. It’s hard not to get choked up just writing this. I guess it can happen to anybody at anytime. But the hard part about driving in the wee hours on the expressway is that you can see it happen. One hard left, one diverted eye and you can see it happening. Like I said, I see it every night.

Listen to Eight Forty-Eight today. They are doing a nice tribute at the end of their show.

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