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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Another accident on South Street sends 3 students to hospital

Published: February 7, 2014
Section: Front Page, News

Three Brandeis students were hit by a car on Sunday evening and were all seriously injured while crossing South Street on their way to a Super Bowl party. All students were taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center immediately thereafter.

The students, who are all undergraduates, include an 18-year-old male, an 18-year-old female and a 22-year-old female. They were all at the crosswalk by the Foster Mods when the car struck them.

The driver of the car that struck the trio, a 42-year-old man from Belmont, was heading north on South Street when the crash occurred at 6:24 p.m., according to a Feb. 2 press release from the Waltham Police Department. The report also says that the driver was not impaired or under the influence of any substances at the time of the accident. There have been no charges and the case is currently under investigation.

Waltham police report that the 18-year-old woman was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived and remained hospitalized in “serious but stable condition,” while the other two students suffered head injuries and were released from the hospital that evening.

South Street was closed for a few hours on Sunday evening outside the area of the Foster Mods but reopened after emergency personnel and police assessed the scene. The Escort Safety Service was also temporarily suspended, but reopened when the streets were cleared.

In an email sent out to the Brandeis community on Feb. 3, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan advised students to take precautions in pedestrian safety on the Brandeis campus. He referred all other questions to the Waltham Police Department.

“We urge all community members to use caution when walking, cycling and driving on or adjacent to campus,” Callahan said. “Please use the overpass above South Street whenever possible. Please activate the crosswalk lights as a warning to motorists when using the crosswalk.”

This is not the first accident that has occurred on South Street involving pedestrian injuries. In 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, students have suffered minor and major injuries from drivers who were either speeding or did not see students crossing South Street.

There are neon yellow signs next to the crosswalk at the Foster Mods that warn drivers in both directions to slow down, and pedestrians can push a button to set off flashing yellow lights when they are crossing. These two-button activated blinking yellow traffic lights were installed by the city of Waltham in 2006, but Callahan says that drivers still need to take more precautions in this area, especially at night.

“All drivers should use extreme caution and stop for pedestrians, being particularly careful after dark. Drivers should be particularly aware of pedestrians around van and shuttle stops. Cyclists should use lights and wear reflective clothing,” Callahan said.

It remains to be seen what precautions, if any, the school will take to prevent more pedestrian injuries.