A Yale sophomore sustained minor leg injuries Tuesday night after she collided with a car driving recklessly down Rose Walk in front of Sterling Memorial Library, a path on Cross Campus normally devoid of vehicles.
Olga Berlinsky ’08 was passing in front of the library and headed toward Grove Street at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday night when the car bypassed the “Pedestrian’s Only” sign that deters non-emergency vehicles from driving onto Cross Campus at the corner of High and Elm streets. Bryan Hunter ’08, who was with Berlinsky at the time, said he turned around after hearing a loud noise, and saw a “black, small sedan” that “looked possibly like a Toyota” moving toward them at approximately 25 miles per hour.
The driver escaped by accelerating past the Women’s Table and Sterling Memorial Library before speeding away on Grove Street, Hunter said. Berlinsky and Hunter were unable to determine the driver’s license plate number.
Berlinsky said he thinks she and Hunter may have been intentionally targeted.
“It was a little strange, because we were on the side of the path and it didn’t swerve or anything,” Berlinsky said. “We’re like ‘what is that’ and then Bryan kind of pulled me out of the way, but just in time … If Bryan hadn’t pulled me out of the way, I can’t even think about it.”
Berlinsky said that the car clipped her foot and leg, an injury later diagnosed as a torn ligament in her left leg.
“In terms of getting hit by a car, it was probably the least injury I could have had, so it’s very lucky,” she said.
Yale Police Department Chief James Perrotti said this type of incident has never before occurred on campus. Most vehicles, except for police cars, fire engines and other emergency vehicles, are restricted from the Rose Walk, he said.
Although Hunter said the accident would have been difficult to prevent, he said security precautions might have helped prevent cars from driving onto Cross Campus.
“I understand that it is important for police to be able to drive down [Rose Walk], because that’s their only access to Cross Campus, but it seems like a really dangerous area, because High Street just dead ends there, but this [walkway] keeps going, so I think it’s really easy to keep driving straight through,” Hunter said. “I’ve always thought that was a bad idea, and I guess that proved to be the case.”
Berlinsky said the accident and her subsequent injuries have left her with a poor impression of safety on Yale’s campus.
“Brian and I were talking about it, and in general, the campus does feel less safe than it did last year, but it’s not like I’ll be avoiding Rose Walk,” she said.
Berlinsky said she expects her leg to heal shortly, but she will have to use crutches for the next two weeks.