Edward Taube, 64, the Forest Park resident who was killed by a Pace bus at Harlem and Madison last Thursday at 12:15 p.m. had no significant vision problems, according to Irene Niemet, a case worker with Aspire Services in Hillside, who worked as Taube’s case worker and knew him for almost 15 years.
“He wore glasses, but he had no significant impairment,” she said.
Taube was most likely returning on foot to his home from Walgreens at Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street, said Niemet. He was struck by a No. 318 bus traveling eastbound on Madison St. and turning north onto Harlem. Taube made contact with the side rear of the bus, was knocked down and run over by its rear wheels, said Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot. Taube was taken to Loyola Hospital after emergency services personnel found him about eight feet north of the crosswalk with severe leg trauma and a significant loss of blood. Taube was taken to Loyola because nearby Rush Oak Park Hospital does not have a trauma center in the emergency room. He was pronounced dead at 12:52 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The Pace bus driver is a 19-year veteran and a past recipient of safety awards, said Wilmot. In addition to an investigation done by Oak Park police, Wilmot said Pace has safety personnel that will conduct their own investigation of the incident.
Edward Taube was employed for 25 years as a maintenance worker by the State of Illinois at the John J. Madden Hospital in Maywood, according to Niemet. He had no next-of-kin, she knew of she said. “Ed lived in Forest Park since the early 90s,” she said. Taube had been receiving services from Aspire, which helps developmentally disabled adults, since 1980, she said. Aspire will make funeral arrangements, which are not yet available.
She described Taube as “Mr. Joker. Very pleasant and constantly trying to make people laugh. It was an unfortunate accident and I still don’t understand how it happened.” She was to meet with police Tuesday after press time to assist in the investigation, she said.
Neighbor Odessa Wynn lives in Taube’s apartment building in the 300 block of Desplaines. She said Taube’s vision was fine. “I don’t know where they’re getting that crap from,” she said, regarding media reports that Taube was visually impaired. “He was always able to see.”
Wynn said Taube was recovering from hernia surgery the week before. “It was so shocking for me.” She enjoyed cooking for Taube, who lived alone with his cat. Residents of the building are close, she added, and often share holiday dinners together. “There are [people here] who don’t have family left. We got together for homemade turkey on Thanksgiving and I made banana pudding.”
Wynn said she has questions about details of the accident. “How did he end up eight feet [from the crosswalk]? That, in itself, should tell you something. He had the right of way. He was a pedestrian.”
“He was my good friend,” she added. “He was not suicidal. He was a happy, go-lucky guy.”
Oak Park Police Cmdr. LaDon Reynolds said the investigation is still continuing.
Devin Rose contributed to this article.