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Chicago gas giveaway results in traffic jams at stations

March 17, 2022 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Traffic jams resulted Thursday after wealthy Chicago businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson donated $200,000 worth of gas at 10 service stations.

The giveaway in $50 increments started at 7 a.m., leading to some fender-benders and, at one location, at least a half-dozen patrol cars directing traffic, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

One station owner, Neha Baig, said “it’s great to have everyone here.”

“It’s great for the community to come together and feel like they are being helped out in any way possible,” Baig said.

Wilson, asked if he regretted the traffic jams, told reporters he wished he had donated more gas. Prices at the pump were as high as $4.49 per gallon.

Wilson said he’s tentatively planning another giveaway next week.

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“We went out to do good, to help the needy and to help the poor and the people who can’t get to work to take care of their families,” he said.

Alderwoman Maria Hadden complained the giveaway at a station in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side caused a “traffic disaster.”

“This was irresponsible and reckless of Dr. Wilson and the gas station owners,” Hadden commented on Twitter.