At around 3:15 p.m. on Monday — the first day of Yale’s accepted students days, Bulldog Days — two visiting admitted students were struck by a car near the intersection of Elm and High streets. An ambulance arrived to the scene, where paramedics treated the victims and transported them to Yale New Haven Hospital.
In an interview with the News, Anthony Geritano ’20 said he was walking along the Cross Campus sidewalk along Elm Street when he saw a car driving down the road very quickly. As the driver sped down the road, Geritano heard a loud screeching noise and then a few thuds. He said one person who had been hit immediately stood back up, but the other pedestrian “went up over the hood of the car” then fell back down off the hood and hit the ground.
“I learned about the collision from my staff, who were quick to the scene. Although I was not there, I heard the police and emergency medical staff who treated the injured young women did an outstanding job delivering aid quickly and ensuring they were transported to Yale New Haven Hospital as quickly as possible,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan said.
University spokesman Tom Conroy confirmed to the News that two prospective students were involved but no serious injuries were suffered. Quinlan told the News that Patricia Wei, a Yale admissions officer, traveled with the two visitors and stayed with them during their time at the hospital. Quinlan said he was relieved to hear that the admitted students’ injuries are not serious and that they expect to participate in the rest of the Bulldog Days program.
After the collision, the driver of the vehicle — an older Honda Sedan — started driving away, according to Geritano. He ran after the car, hitting the vehicle’s side, to no avail. Another pedestrian took a picture of the car and later coordinated with officers to send them the car information.
According to the New Haven Independent, another motorist followed the driver who hit the pedestrians to a restaurant, where the driver was hiding. The driver now faces evading-responsibility charges, according to the Independent.
Within two minutes of the crash, two New Haven Police Department squad cars appeared, followed by an American Medical Response vehicle and ambulance. For the next hour, at least four NHPD vehicles were stationed at the intersection of Elm and High streets. NHPD officers interviewed witnesses, according to a student at the scene.
“There were two students involved, but there were no serious injuries suffered,” Conroy said.
NHPD spokesman Anthony Duff was not available for comment.
The one admitted student who was more severely injured was on the ground for a few minutes, according to students interviewed by the News.
“Nobody was going to pick her up. She could have had a compromised spine, so everyone told her to stay down. It’s the smartest thing to do after a heavy traumatic incident like that — to keep your body still,” Geritano told the News. When the officials arrived, the admitted student was put onto a stretcher and into the ambulance, Geritano said.
The area where the incident occurred was immediately closed off by the NHPD with crime scene tape, blocking the intersection of Elm and High streets. Three officers and an NHPD car were stationed inside the taped-off area and made sure that pedestrians walked around the tape.
An hour after the incident occurred, officers were still standing outside of a parked NHPD vehicle which blocked the intersection of Elm Street and York Street. Cars that were heading straight down Elm Street were directed to turn at York Street instead, leading to a slight traffic jam in the area.
“What’s really a shame is that this all happened during Bulldog Days and that a lot of prospective students’ first experience at Yale is going to be this. This is not indicative of how the New Haven or Yale community conducts itself,” Geritano said.
Yale’s Bulldog Days program this year takes place from April 15 to 17.
Sammy Westfall | firstname.lastname@example.org