Accident provokes safety debate

Jill Brower

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, freshman Ellen Carey was struck by a passing car while jogging on South Ithan Avenue. The 18-year-old Katharine Hall resident was leaving South campus and heading towards the SEPTA trail. She was wearing headphones at the time of the accident.

According to James Conway, senior investigator for Public Safety, “She saw the car coming, but thought she had enough time to cross the street.” Carey struck the windshield of the car, Conway said, and landed on the grass on the west side of Ithan Avenue.

Conway would not release any information about the driver except that he or she was a University student.

Public Safety officers near the scene attended to Carey by checking her injuries and administering oxygen. VEMS, paramedics and the Radnor police also arrived on the scene. She was then taken to the East Main Lot field, where she was transferred by helicopter to Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia.

Carey was treated for a broken left ankle, knee injuries and a possible cheekbone fracture. Her parents flew in from Oklahoma City that night and her brother, a Georgetown student, drove to Philadelphia to be with her in the hospital.

Paul Pugh, Dean of Students, and Rev. Shawn Tracy, O.S.A., of Campus Ministry, also visited Carey in the hospital shortly after the accident. Although Pugh noted her cuts and scrapes he said, “We were able to get a couple of smiles out of her.”

The accident is currently being investigated by the Radnor Police Department.

Carey has since been released from the hospital and returned to campus.

According to Conway, the area is “so heavily used by students,” that this particular crossing on Ithan Avenue, necessitates a more substantial warning to drivers, such as a blinking “pedestrian crossing” sign. He said that Public Safety plans to look into the matter.

Conway urges students to use caution while jogging. “Although it wasn’t the primary cause of the accident,” he said, “you shouldn’t have earphones on while jogging on a public highway.”

Pugh noted that many students “get too comfortable because the campus is safe.”

He said, “People forget that roads are not sidewalks on Main campus.”

He recommends that active members of the student body be cautious on public roads and wear reflective vests if jogging at night.