White Sox fan who had a wild ride in a car’s sunroof looks on the bright side

Chuck Janczy, 64, said he felt ‘lucky’ to get stuck in the sunroof of a car after surviving a hit-and-run crash: ‘Worse things could have happened.’

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Chuck Janczy

Chuck Janczy is an avid runner, gardener and White Sox fan. On Tuesday, he suffered two spinal fractures, multiple broken ribs and a dislocated thumb when he was struck by a car on a sidewalk outside Guaranteed Rate Field.

Provided

Chuck Janczy says he feels “lucky” to have survived being struck by a car Tuesday outside Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Evanston native tumbled over the windshield, dropped upside down through the car’s open sunroof and was carried for about three miles before police stopped the vehicle.

“In a way, falling through the sunroof might have been a good thing,” said Janczy, 64. “If I had just rolled right off and slammed into the pavement, who knows what could have happened to me, right?”

Janczy, a White Sox fan who often attends home games, said he remembered crossing the street and walking toward Guaranteed Rate Field to watch the Sox play the Texas Rangers when a car came out of nowhere and struck him and three others in the 300 block of West 35th Street at about 6:30 p.m.

hit and run Dan Ryan Expressway Condelarious Garcia

Police stopped the vehicle on the Dan Ryan Expressway. The driver, Condelarious Garcia, and three passengers were hospitalized. Garcia faces multiple charges.

Chicago Police Department

“I don’t even remember exactly how I ended up there. I just remember falling through the sunroof, the car just kept going, and I was basically hanging there,” he said.

Janczy held on as pursuing police quickly surrounded the car. In the chaos, one of the passengers inside asked Janczy if he was OK.

To which he replied, “I don’t know. I think so.”

The car crashed on the Dan Ryan Expressway near 45th Street after Illinois State Police executed a maneuver to stop the car, sending it into the center divider, officials said at a hearing Thursday.

Janczy suffered two spinal fractures, multiple broken ribs on both sides and a dislocated thumb, officials said.

“He has a tendency to downplay things,” Janczy’s son said.

“The first night at the hospital, he called me and left a voicemail and said he had a broken thumb and just needed to get picked up,” said Jerome Janczy, 27. “That’s just how he is. He’s relentlessly positive.”

Three others — a woman, 51, and two men, 24 and 25 — were hospitalized and listed in fair to critical condition, Chicago police said.

One victim suffered several injuries, including a traumatic brain injury and multiple facial fractures. The victim is currently unresponsive and intubated at the hospital, officials said.

Another suffered a left-side skull fracture, an elbow fracture, a knee fracture and a tibia fracture. And the third victim suffered a fractured tibia and a dislocated shoulder, officials said.

The driver of the car, Condelarious Garcia, 20, faces four felony counts each of failure to report an injury accident and aggravated reckless driving causing bodily harm, police said.

Condelarious Garcia

Condelarious Garcia, 20, faces four felony counts each of failure to report an injury accident and aggravated reckless driving causing bodily harm, police said.

Chicago Police Department

Passengers in the car told police they yelled for Garcia to stop the car because there were people on the street, and he ignored them, officials said.

Garcia has no criminal history, but court records show he has never been issued a driver’s license and has been pulled over twice for driving without a license and lack of insurance. In both incidents, Garcia failed to show up to court, officials said.

Garcia’s bond has been set at $200,000, and he has been placed on house arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court June 30.

Chicago police 35th Street and Shields Avenue Guaranteed Rate Field White Sox park

Accidents are not common at 35th Street and Shields Avenue, Chicago police said. But Sox fans said traffic should be banned from the streets around the ballpark to improve safety for pedestrians.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Janczy is expected to make a full recovery and is resting at home, where his family is taking care of him. He hopes to recover quickly, so he can return to gardening, running and — without a doubt — going to more White Sox games, he said.

“As soon as I can,” he said. “Yeah, I got hit by a car, but worse things could have happened.”

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