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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Student hit by car

Published: November 4, 2005
Section: News

At approximately 2:10 pm Wednesday, a female Brandeis student was struck by an unidentified elderly driver as she crossed South Street along the Lindsay Pool area. The accident happened in front of Elan Schefflein 06, BEMCO director and clinical supervisor.

After having just talked to the victim before being struck, Schefflein was able to use his first aid training to work as first response to the situation. I said hello. She stepped on the crosswalk, and then I heard a breakI immediately turned around, because that sound at a crosswalk means only one thing, said Schefflein.
Despite the driver only moving approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour, the results were dramatic. I turned around, and saw her about five feet in the air.

According to Schefflein, the student then fell to the ground hard, like a bag of bricks. After landing from the impact, she then [sat] up immediately and grabbed the back of her head screaming.

Schefflein, who was on BEMCO duty at the time, pulled his radio from his backpack and started screaming, we need an ambulance, we need backup, now! said Schefflein. The police just swarmedwe have rules of etiquette on the radio, such as speaking slowly and clearly, and I was just shoutingmy adrenaline was pretty high right then.

An off-duty Waltham firefighter also witnessed the accident, and assisted Schefflein in calming the victim down while firefighters and an ambulance arrived. The victim, while hysterical, was conscious and there were no signs of bleeding.

Meanwhile, the elderly driver who had struck the student began to inch her white Ford Taurus forward;

none of the bystanders are certain if the elderly woman was simply pulling to the side of the road, or intending to flee from the scene of the accident. She was moving her car, and somebody just got out of his car and walked right in front of her car, said Schefflein. He just said, Youre not moving anywhere.

The driver claimed that she did not see the student crossing because the sun was in her eyes. The elderly womans unregistered car was towed, and she was cited for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The student, after around 30 minutes of on-scene treatment by firefighters and EMTs, was then taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Hospital, where, despite initial speculation of her having sustained a broken leg, the student was released later that night with no injuries.

The Office of the Dean of Student Life was quick to send an e-mail to the entire Brandeis University calling for extra caution [when] crossing South Street from the main campus, asking students to cross the Squire Bridge to the Gosman Athletic Center whenever possible. They declined to make any further statements.

Thankfully for the student involved, the head of BEMCO was present to act as first response to the incident. Schefflein, however, would not monopolize all the credit, instead stressing how fortunate the situation was that he had his radio: If I had to call 911 on my cell phone and wait for an ambulance to arriveluckily I had my radio, so I was on frequency, so Public Safety could call AMR [American Medical Response] directly.

Its shocking, because people cross the street all the time, said Ed Callahan, the Head of the Department of Public Safety. People need to slow down and watch the roads. Callahan was quick to advocate attentiveness on the road to prevent further accidents from occurring: Fortunately the person is alive…but its something we [need to recognize];

we all need to slow down, and when we operate a vehicle, we need to be cognizant of all things.