A collision on campus between a pedestrian and vehicle resulted in one student being rushed to the hospital this morning. The pedestrian was crossing the intersection of Highland and University drives at about 11 a.m., when she was hit by a vehicle making a left turn onto Highland Drive, witnesses said.
University Police Commander Lori Hashim said the Cal Poly University Police Department (UPD) is not releasing the name or condition of the student until her family is contacted, but the student is in the hospital for her injuries.
“The pedestrian was transported to Sierra Vista (Regional Medical Center) where she is being treated,” Hashim said.
Industrial engineering graduate student Musa Mohamed was at the scene shortly after the accident occurred. Mohamed said he looked up when he heard the screeching of brakes and the squealing of tires.
The pedestrian was on the ground, and the driver got out of the vehicle to check on her before noticing his driver’s side wheel was still on her foot, Mohamed said.
“Everybody just stopped for a couple of seconds,” Mohamed said. “We were just shocked.”
The driver backed off the pedestrian’s foot, and then witnesses went to the pedestrian’s side, Mohamed said.
He said he was shocked by the amount of blood.
“There was so much blood coming from her ears,” Mohamed said.
As the driver waited for police to arrive, Mohamed said he was in just as much in shock as everyone else on scene. The driver even tried to help stop some of the pedestrian’s bleeding, Mohamed said.
“He was just scared,” Mohamed said. “He tried to grab some napkins.”
Industrial engineering senior Tyler Hays was also nearby when the accident occurred. Hays said he was walking to a parking lot near Campus Market when he noticed the people in front of him stopped walking.
Hays then saw the pedestrian “awkwardly laying on the ground” next to the vehicle, he said. After checking if people were calling 911, Hays said he rushed to the pedestrian’s side, where she was trying to get up.
The pedestrian’s head was bleeding from the impact of the ground, and witnesses at the scene offered jackets, sweaters and other articles of clothing to help.
“There were actually a few people who contributed pieces of clothing to cover her up,” Hays said.
Even with a jacket for a pillow, the pedestrian continued to try to get up, Hays said. He said he kept her from moving until the police arrived on the scene a few minutes later.
“I stayed on the ground with her and kept her head down,” Hays said.
Hays said the pedestrian was “basically unresponsive;” she was unable to give her name or do more than whisper to the police officers on scene.
UPD is still investigating who is at fault for the accident, and is not releasing any further information until after going over witness statements, Hashim said.
Pedestrian/vehicle collisions are not common on campus, but do occur from time to time, Hashim said. Though she didn’t have exact statistics, Hashim said UPD sees a “handful” — about two or three — every year.
Both pedestrians and drivers need to pay attention on campus to avoid these collisions, Hashim said. Drivers need to constantly be alert while driving and pedestrians should avoid distractions and observe traffic safety rules, Hashim said.
“If you’re a pedestrian, don’t be on your cell phone or texting and watch out for traffic when crossing,” Hashim said.
I’m surprised these events don’t happen more often. The intersections and crosswalks on campus are DANGEROUS and it seems like the university does not care. That intersection where this girl was hit is completely unsafe. It’s a major entrance and for the campus, and is also a crosswalk that connects to one of the larger parking lots…the design is terrible! They put in a traffic light at the stadium, but completely ignore this intersection?
Couple months back, I had to sprint and jump out of the way of a car at that intersection. It was a close miss and the driver kept on driving. Not only is the intersection dangerous, but go walk it at night. There is not proper lighting on that intersection and it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Cal Poly, please address this safety issue. Having roads running through high pedestrian traffic zones is never a good idea, but you have to make do with an old design by making sure it’s safe.
They really need to put in those flashing crosswalks everywhere, and drivers need to SLOW DOWN and stop for pedestrians instead of acting like it’s a huge hassle to do what’s right. It won’t kill you to wait 1 minute while someone crosses the street. Also, people need to look and verify that they do not see anyone on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you how many times I almost didn’t see someone because the design of my car creates a blind spot RIGHT where people stand. Also, pedestrians, don’t cross unless the car is completely stopped, and always always make eye contact with the driver if you can! Don’t just jump out and assume people will stop. If everyone assumes worst case scenario instead of being entitled about it, it’s better.
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