UMass freshman charged after car strikes, injures sophomore in campus crosswalk

By Alyssa Creamer

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A University of Massachusetts freshman was charged yesterday after the vehicle she was driving earlier Monday morning allegedly struck a UMass sophomore who was walking in the crosswalk of a campus intersection.

The pedestrian, Jessica Casper, 20, of Leominster, Mass., was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after she was hit at around 7:55 a.m. Monday while crossing Massachusetts Avenue at the roadway’s intersection with Sunset Avenue, according to University spokesman Edward Blaguszewski.

The vehicle’s driver, Kali Ackerman, 18, of Ashland, Mass., was charged with a motor vehicle crosswalk violation, he said.

Casper was transported from the scene to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield by an Amherst Fire Department ambulance.

“[The vehicle driven by] Ackerman was traveling in the eastbound lane … that is the time of day when the sun can be in the driver’s eyes if you’re heading east,” said Blaguszewski.

Casper was “treated and discharged” from the hospital several hours later, according to Baystate’s public relations office.

During a brief interview with Casper late afternoon yesterday, she stated that she was “still in a tremendous amount of pain.”

“My parents are taking me into Boston to a women’s hospital. I was released earlier from Baystate,” she said. “At Baystate, they only took X-rays of my legs. There was no full-body X-ray done, so we’re going to get another opinion.”

Ackerman declined to comment on the incident.

Alyssa Creamer can be reached at [email protected]