CHICAGO (June 28, 6:30 p.m. EDT) — Four officials from Hosokawa Polymer Systems had a wild ride to NPE 2000 in an out-of-control taxi, but the journey ended with a good laugh.
Jack Bowne, vice president of sales and marketing for the Berlin, Conn.-based company, said he and three other officials were almost to McCormick Place about 8 a.m. June 23.
"I was sitting in the back seat by the right-side door, looking out the window," Bowne said. "All of a sudden the other guys are pushing me over, sliding across the seat."
He thought his co-workers were joking with him and pushing him while going around a curve.
"Then we realized the driver was out of control and accelerating. Then suddenly we were flying over a curb and into a fence."
Somehow the steering wheel had locked, he said.
Except for being shaken up and surprised, Bowne said, everyone escaped the taxi unscathed, including the driver. Doug Ort, Hosokawa´s vice president of operations, snapped a picture of the badly damaged cab.
"It was good for a laugh, but thank God no one was hurt. It was just one of those things — the dedication of getting to the show," Bowne said, laughing.
Also in the taxi at the time were Jim Cook, spare parts and export sales manager, and sales administrator Dave Hornyak.
The group eventually did get to the show. A security guard from McCormick met them and showed them to a transit bus to finish the arduous journey from the Fairmont Hotel to NPE 2000.