published Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Lee University students get care after being hit by van

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A Lee University student and a recent graduate of the college are recovering at Erlanger after they were hit by a van while crossing a campus street.

Shashank Shrestha, 22, and Danielle Carter, 20, were crossing Parker Street around 11:30 p.m. Saturday when a van traveling south at 30 mph hit them, Lee University spokesman Jerome Hammond said.

Carter was thrown and suffered severe head injuries. Shrestha suffered a cracked pelvis and a gash to his head. Both were knocked unconscious, Hammond said.

They originally were listed in critical condition but had been upgraded to stable Sunday evening.

The van driver, Thomas Creek, 48, was charged with driving on a suspended license, said Officer Evie West, police spokeswoman.

Creek was released on a $500 bond Sunday, according to the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.

West said investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if they will press additional charges. West said that process could take several weeks.

Carter is a psychology major, and Shrestha graduated from Lee earlier this spring, Hammond said.

Classes at the college resume Wednesday, but Hammond said dozens of Lee students and staff members gathered at the hospital to check on Carter and Shrestha's condition. "It's a terrible thing to happen, but it's illustrative of what it's like to go to Lee. It's a very close-knit family," he said.

Hammond said Parker Street is well-lit and straight, but he said that the pair was not at a pedestrian crossing.

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esaletnik said...

It used to be many years ago that you had respect for a two ton car coming down the street and remembered what your mother told you to look both ways before crossing. But I’ve noticed in the past 10 years or so that the pedestrian feels that any car will stop for them by just walking out in the street. I have lost count on how many times I have had to slam on the brakes recently for people crossing in front of me in the middle of the street away from any intersection. They aren’t even looking to see if a car is coming!

August 22, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.
Humphrey said...

hopefully you aren't speeding while drunk on a suspended license

August 22, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
Smitherd said...

For the record, the students did in fact look both ways before crossing because they had to wait for three other cars to pass. I know this because I spoke with Shrestha in the hospital. Lose the attitude and gain some sympathy.

August 22, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
macropetala8 said...

esaletnik it's that new TN law that says pedestrians don't have to use common sense when crossing the street. I neither drink nor speed, but I've had my share of close causes with both cyclists crossing over several lanes in front of traffic without warning to get into a turning lane, motorcyclists who ride your bumper in an effort to force you to speed up, and pedestrians who think a several ton vehicle can stop on a dime and within a split second without warning.

August 22, 2011 at 11:48 a.m.
jholt002 said...

You said it, Smitherd. Shashank said the same to me in the hospital. This is the first time a student has been hit in nearly 30 years. And though the article mentions that Shashank and Danielle were not using a crosswalk, that's probably because one doesn't exist there. Or close to there. But it's a common place to cross the street nonetheless. So even though it's fun to stand on your virtual front porch and shout "Whippersnappers!" informing us all how righteous and upstanding people were in the old days, maybe you should bear in mind there always remains the possibility that the young whippersnappers aren't entirely at fault.

August 22, 2011 at 11:48 a.m.
rolando said...

So if they waited for three cars before crossing the street, why didn't they wait for the van? Were they wearing light-colored clothing? Was there street lighting?

As for the license? Charge him with attempted vehicular homicide, whether he saw them or not. Having his license suspended means he cannot obey simple paying attention while driving. [That's for all you texting-while-driving incompetents out there.]

Pedestrians need to take precautions to ensure drivers can see them...especially at 11:30 at night. This happens when people insist on the right-of-way when reason says to stand fast...driving or walking.

August 22, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
wadehinson said...

Actually we had a student die while crossing Ocoee in 1994. The lady that hit him claimed she never saw him. Phil was a good friend of mine which has made me extra cautious when I am driving...around Lee especially.

Having said that I don't know how many times I have almost hit students who dart out at the last minute, some wearing headphones completely oblivious to the fact that a car was even there. I have also seen students who take every caution in the book to ensure that they never risk their lives, sometimes waiting until a car has came to a dead stop and insisted they cross.

I hope that this gives students a wake up call because no matter who is at fault two lives were almost lost this weekend.

August 22, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.
Smitherd said...

They saw the van approaching at a distance, but believed it to be at sufficient distance to allow safe passage. And Jholt has it right - there are ZERO crosswalks on Parker between 15th and 20th streets, yet there are six major campus structures between such streets, not to mention parking lots.

August 22, 2011 at 10:18 p.m.
Smitherd said...

And in response to Rolando, they were wearing lightish-colored clothing; Danielle blue [assuming she didn't change clothes in the few hours between the time I saw her last and the accident,] Shashank red. The street lighting varies depending on where between 15th and 20th streets one finds themselves; the point of the impact is moderately lit.

August 22, 2011 at 10:24 p.m.
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