Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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]

10 Comments

10 Responses to “UMass freshman charged after car strikes, injures sophomore in campus crosswalk”

  1. Ed on April 6th, 2010 9:56 am

    When will UMass realize that the sun rises in the east, sets in the west, and that the road is damn dangerous in the spring & fall????

    This isn’t the first driver blinded by the sun, nor the first student badly hurt on that stretch.

    We need traffic lights!

  2. Lauren on April 6th, 2010 2:13 pm

    I agree, the sun or other vehicles can impair your ability to see pedestrians, so I firmly believe that pedestrians should wait until they see that the car has stopped before crossing. No one has ever been hurt by taking 15 seconds to wait and make sure that the car is going to stop. We like to place blame on the drivers but I think that the pedestrian also has a certain responsibility to not just run into the road.

  3. Ryan on April 6th, 2010 3:36 pm

    Traffic lights or a walkway that goes over/under the road really is needed, the solar glare on Mass. Ave is horrible

  4. jim on April 6th, 2010 4:45 pm

    how can you not blame the drive , you are suppose to be going 25 mph in a school zone umm sun or no sun if you are going the speed limit in a large college campus you would not be hitting another kid.

  5. Bethany on April 6th, 2010 7:20 pm

    Pedestrians are not to blame for this terrible accident. She was hit while obeying all of her traffic laws as a pedestrian. The driver is the one who broke a law, while thankfully none of Jessie’s bones. Drivers sbhould know the dangers of this so called “sun blindness”. Drivers have become too comfortable with high speeds and the fact that pedestrians will usually allow them to do whatever they please. It is a pure miracle that Jessie is okay and Umass needs to take this as a lesson to protect their students while trying to walk to classes.

  6. Lauren on April 7th, 2010 12:10 am

    I’m not trying to take the blame off of the driver, however pedestrians need to realize that they can save themselves by just taking a second to wait. Do you also leave your doors unlocked when you’re not home because its not legal for burglars to enter your house? If you want to keep your ipod and your life, you should probably take a proactive approach and protect yourself.

  7. Mary on April 7th, 2010 9:48 am

    Not saying driver was not at fault but does not say driver was cited for speeding and clearly sun was an issue. Happy no one was seriously injured, but sometimes it is just an accident

  8. A. on April 7th, 2010 12:21 pm

    “Traffic lights or a walkway that goes over/under the road really is needed, the solar glare on Mass. Ave is horrible”

    There is a tunnel, a mere block or so away from the intersection of Sunset and Mass Ave.

  9. Ryan on April 7th, 2010 12:58 pm

    To A.- True but the walkway is pretty useless because it is off the path almost all students in the northern section of SW use to go to class. That crosswalk is the main place where people cross the road, and most classes are held in buildings on the northern side of campus. The tunnel is useful for athletes going to the gym/Mullins center but not for much else.

  10. some guy on April 7th, 2010 1:00 pm

    “When will UMass realize that the sun rises in the east, sets in the west…”

    More people need to visit the Sunwheel.

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