December 24, 2007 / 8:34 PM / 10 years ago

Breaking news! Driver crashes into Chicago newscast

2 Min Read

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The driver of a minivan who interrupted a local TV newscast while it was on the air by crashing into the station's glass-walled studio, was charged on Monday with reckless driving, authorities said.

Gerald Richardson, 25, was seen driving erratically moments before veering into the street-level studio on Sunday night, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Richardson's sister later told the newspaper he suffered from mental problems.

He performed several U-turns on the busy downtown street before crashing the van into a thick glass panel dividing the studio from the sidewalk, with a panel giving way, witnesses told the newspaper.

The impact was heard on-air and anchorman Ravi Baichwal shouted, "Ho!," interrupting his introduction to the newscast's first story about harsh winter weather. He said the studio had become drafty.

Small crowds often form outside the studio's windows during newscasts but no one was hurt and the driver was arrested inside the van, the Sun-Times reported.

Initially, Richardson was charged with reckless driving and ticketed for driving without insurance.

Reporting by Andrew Stern. Editing by Peter Bohan and Eric Beech

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