WEB EXCLUSIVE: MPD cruiser hits student crossing street

Posted 9:23 a.m. Oct. 23-A Metropolitan Police cruiser struck a female GW freshman who was crossing 23rd street near the GW Hillel Tuesday night at about 10:25 p.m. The Hall on Virginia Avenue resident, who was taken to GW Hospital by ambulance, received a slight scratch above her eye and a cut on her leg but a CAT scan determined no further injuries.

Police said the pedestrian, who was unavailable for comment Tuesday night, was crossing the street against the light outside of the crosswalk when the MPD cruiser hit her in the southbound lane of 23rd Street about 10 feet from the curb.

The passenger’s side mirror was hanging from the MPD car and one of the student’s sandals was still under the vehicle when it stopped two feet past the crosswalk.

MPD officials said the car traveling slower than the speed limit because they did not see “skid marks.”

“We are doing an investigation . all that counts is that she was conscious and breathing when we got here,” MPD Sgt. David Parrish said on the scene.

About 30 students and onlookers watched paramedics place the student on a stretcher as police placed two flares in the road and redirected traffic away from 23rd Street between H and G streets. Seven squad cars, one ambulance and one fire truck littered the road as an MPD photographer took pictures of the scene and police questioned witnesses.

MPD officer George Rusnak arrived at GW Hospital just past midnight to hand the student a $5 citation for “walking as to create a hazard,” noting that MPD determined she was walking against the light.

Rusnak said accidents involving police cars and pedestrians are not common but noted “we’re all human.”

The student’s roommates, freshmen Heather Martin and Samantha Smith, said they were joking with the student an hour after the incident.

“She was worried she is going to miss class . and whether her chemistry book is still intact,” Smith said.

“We are going to make her miss class tomorrow,” she added.

Martin said they spoke to the student’s father, who is a doctor, and explained she had no broken bones.

Martin and Smith both said the incident will make them look one more time before crossing the street.

“I usually do (look), but I guess I’ll be a little bit more careful next time,” Martin said.

This is the second time in a year that a student was hit on the corner of 23rd and H streets.

Then-senior Louise Blanc was hit by a student driver the afternoon of Oct. 25, 2001 according to a Oct. 29, 2001 Hatchet report.

Blanc was taken to GW Hospital for minor injuries and issued a $50 citation, police said in the article.

Pedestrian safety is not a new issue on GW’s campus and some incidents have ended in tragedy.

GW Law School student Seth Wadley was struck by a drunk driver Dec. 19, 1998, at the 1100 block of G Street NW, according to a Jan. 18, 1999 Hatchet report. Wadley was 24 years old and died a day after the driver struck him running a red light.

Nineteen-year-old Adam Jarrett, a GW sophomore, was killed in a traffic accident near the Rock Creek Parkway and K Street Sept. 16, 1993, according to a Sept. 20, 1993 Hatchet article. At the time of the publication, it was not known if alcohol was involved in the incident.

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