Owner of Bon Bon Bon Seeks Two ‘Pairs’ Who Helped Her in 2009 Taxi Accident

The multi-car crash occurred in May 2009 on Clark and Cermack streets in Chicago.
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Photograph courtesy of Alexandra Clark

Alexandra Clark, founder of Bon Bon Bon, the Detroit-based chocolate company, is trying to track down four people who helped assist her when she was injured in a car accident nearly 15 years ago.

“If I can find them, I would really like to thank them and send them (a lot of) chocolate,” Clark shared in a public Facebook post on Feb. 28.

The accident took place in Chicago on May 19, 2009, when she was 21. She was in a cab, returning from the Sweets & Snacks Expo at the McCormick Place convention center, doing research for Michigan State’s College of Agriculture.

As she writes in her post, at the time she was “chasing the dream” of one day owning her own chocolate business. It was a dream she had since biting into a raspberry bonbon on a study abroad trip to Amsterdam during her sophomore year at MSU.

The multi-car crash on Clark and Cermack streets in Chicago happened when a black SUV ran a red light. After the taxi was struck, Clark received assistance from a man and a woman who provided “very basic care” until an ambulance arrived. They also packed up her belongings (including chocolate samples) and ensured they were sent with her to the hospital.

She hopes to get in contact with the pair, as well as two male ambulance workers, who transported her to the hospital and checked in on her afterwards.

“I’ve talked about doing this for so long because I still think about these people,” said Clark in a phone interview with Hour Detroit. “I’ve always been a little afraid of [publicly talking about] it, like I was afraid of putting it out into the world, or I just wanted it to go away.”

She adds that it was her employees at Bon Bon Bon who helped her find the courage to share. “It’s very cool to be working with people who can work for you, but also support you in that way and want to see you personally find what you need,” she said.

The money she received from a legal settlement resulting from the accident — $32,000 — helped fund the opening of Bon Bon Bon’s original space in the since-closed Hamtramck Coney Island. “To this day, I hate that accident and I hate that money,” writes Clark in the post. The accident knocked out teeth, caused a head injury, and required maxillofacial surgery.

Clark asks anyone with information that will help her identify one or more of the four people to send an email with the subject “Chicago Taxi Accident” to AlexC@bonbonbon.com.

Bon Bon Bon is a Detroit-based chocolatier that has received national acclaim — Clark made Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2016, and has been featured in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine and Martha Stewart magazines.

Clark’s descriptions of each “pair” from the post are as follows:

PAIR 1: Felt late 30s/40s/early 50s max in 2009. Forgive the spotty description, I was in shock. They are a man and a woman — I remember a look on the woman’s face but can’t describe her overall appearance other than that they both seemed of average build and light complexion. If I had to guess she was blonde-ish but don’t trust me. I kind of associate the other guy with George Stephanopoulos and I don’t know why. She looked horrified when she saw me and so I wonder if/hope that she told someone about her day that day who might be reading this. I remember not being certain if or how they knew each other before they helped me but wondering if they worked in an office together which made me think they may have worked nearby? One ran to Dunkin Donuts or they already had it but it seemed like they had a lot of napkins and just ice in a cup. They provided very basic care until EMS came. They acted almost like they were my parents as I left the scene, they stayed and watched me get taken away and said goodbye and it wasn’t until I arrived at the hospital and the EMS guys were like “lets grab your stuff” that I even realized I had stuff/had forgotten my stuff in the cab. Except for I didn’t forget my stuff in the cab because “pair 1” had packed up my bags and all of my chocolate samples (they neatly packed up everything of mine except for a single tooth… I told you I owe them chocolate) and made sure it was all sent with me. I never saw them again. 

PAIR 2: Two EMS Guys. Felt late 20s to 30s-ish in 2009 — first one may be slightly older. Wings fans in Chicago (this should narrow it down quite a bit. Maybe entirely?). They were the first EMS to the scene and interacted with pair one, deciding I was going first because I had a head injury. The first guy was more intense and maybe older but still kind and calm. I think he had darker or more hair (less buzzed?). There was a moment he explained to me that they were putting in some sort of iv access more comfortable for longer term access and it felt like he was actually giving me a knowing soft intro to the fact that I was not leaving a hospital right away. His general demeanorbut especially this capacity to say one thing but actually tell someone something else entirely felt familiar and makes/made me feel like he was born and raised in the Midwest. The other was a veteran who was shot in action while serving and who also fell down the stairs at some point while not serving (I think he said after?) and broke his jaw. He described the later as more painful (even though he had been drinking) and thus was super, super sympathetic to the point of seeming in pain himself at witnessing my condition. Vivacious big heart-ed type. They rushed me to the first hospital and I think they also transported me to the specialist hospital once I was stable. They even checked in later and had bought me a treat when they stopped for coffee later in their shift hoping that I had been given the all clear to eat. I had not so instead they teased me that (not verbatim) “in that case, you snooze you lose”. My mom showed up, they left and I never saw them again.