Updated: October 5, 2013 6:27AM
A roadside safety check over the weekend by Chicago Ridge police turned out to be anything but safe — and a lot shorter than planned.
The checkpoint, which was scheduled to be four hours, lasted only 30 minutes before a drunken driver slammed into a flashing warning sign late Saturday night — sending officers scrambling and having to enter the pickup truck to stop it, police said.
Lawrence Maderak, 67, of 7400 W. 80th St., Bridgeview, was charged with drunken driving, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, disobeying a traffic signal and no insurance, according to police.
They said Maderak’s Dodge Ram truck was northbound in the 10500 block of Harlem Avenue about 11:30 p.m. when it ran into the sign that had a flashing arrow to direct drivers off the road into the checkpoint area.
The truck continued at a slow speed toward officers manning the checkpoint, and Maderak ignored their orders to stop, police said. They said an officer was able to open a door and stop the truck by putting the gearshift into park.
Police said Maderak was intoxicated and asked officers, “what’s going on?” He refused a blood-alcohol test and was taken to a hospital for observation, according to police.
The warning sign, valued at more than $8,000, was heavily damaged, causing police to call off the safety check, police said.