University student hit by vehicle near Fine Arts Center

By Michelle Williams

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information to accurately reflect the names, ages and sexes of the victim and driver.

Brandan Wall, a 20-year-old University of Massachusetts student, was hit by a vehicle on North Pleasant Street early Sunday morning, according to Hunter Guiles and Ron Young, officers of the Amherst Police Department.

The incident occurred on North Pleasant Street by the Fine Arts Center on the UMass campus, police said. Amherst Police responded to the call at approximately 1:04 a.m. Wall was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. According to Guiles, “the extent of his injuries has not been determined.”

The driver was identified to the Collegian Tuesday as UMass student Michael LoPilato by the UMPD.

“The operator of the vehicle has been identified and interviewed at the scene,” said Guiles. “The accident remains under investigation.”

When asked on Sunday if the driver was under any influence, Guiles declined to comment, repeating that the accident is under investigation. On Tuesday, Lt. Ron Young of the Amherst Police Department said that there was no evidence that LoPilato was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. three UMass Police Department vehicles were at the scene marking the road with yellow caution tape running across the street. Broken glass and what appeared to be blood was scattered on the road. An additional vehicle blocked access to the street at the rotary near the Lederle Graduate Research Center.

On the UMass Police Department’s website, tips on pedestrian safety are posted. According to the post,  “UMass Amherst has recently been beset by motor vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents that have resulted in serious bodily injury to the pedestrians.”

The website also cites state pedestrian safety laws, “Massachusetts General Law states that a civil citation may be issued to a motor vehicle operator who fails to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk unless a traffic light indicates the motor vehicle should proceed, or the pedestrian is not within five feet of the motor vehicle’s side of the road. However, pedestrians should never presume that the crosswalk is a sanctuary because the law provides the right of way.”

Additionally, the website recommends pedestrians always walk on the sidewalk and dress to be seen.

Stay with DailyCollegian.com for more updates.

— Michelle Williams, Collegian Staff