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Parking lot hit-and-run: student injured outside South Hall

Scripture resident Alex Schwartz (so) said he was hit by a car in January while longboarding in the South Hall parking lot, an accident that gave the Indiana Wesleyan University student multiple bruises and cuts, which required stitches.

Schwartz said he was on his way back to his dorm that day when a driver backed out of a parking spot and made contact with him while he was skating through the rows of the lot. There are no known witnesses.

“I guess the driver didn’t see me or didn’t check corners before he backed out,” said Schwartz. “It backed out on an angle, clipped my back leg, and I face-planted.”

With his face on the ground, Schwartz said that he was too shocked to look at the plate or the type of car. He was also unable to see the driver from this vantage point. After backing out and hitting Schwartz, the car drove away without acknowledging the incident, according to Schwartz.

“All of a sudden, the engine revved up real fast, and then he made the getaway,” said Schwartz, who said the driver must have noticed him.

“There was a hard enough impact that the driver would have felt me if he didn’t hear me,” he said.

Schwartz added that he is “90 percent sure” that the driver saw him on the ground, as the car abruptly stopped upon his fall.

After the accident, Schwartz went to the Health Center before being directed to the local emergency room to get stitches on his chin.

“I didn’t anticipate going to the hospital, [but] I mean, it’s not that bad. I could’ve been dead,” he said.

Schwartz said, with hardly any information and no other witnesses, he didn’t file an official police report, so a search wasn’t made to discover the driver of the car.

“This is the only time that I know of since I’ve been in this position that this has happened,” said Mario Rangel, director of Campus Police at IWU. “We’ve had hit-and-runs as far as cars, but hitting a person and running off? I’ve never had that before.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a “hit-and-run is defined as a crash where a vehicle is a contact vehicle in the crash and does not stop to render aid (this includes drivers who flee the scene on foot.)”

According to a 2009 publication from the NHTSA, of every five pedestrians killed on the roads, one dies in a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident.

To prevent this, Rangel advises students to stay on sidewalks and keep headphones off.

“If you’re going to cross the road, always keep in mind that they don’t see you, and act as if they don’t see you,” said Rangel. “Just be defensive, just as if you were driving.”

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Rilee Catalano (so) is a writer for The Sojourn. This is her second year at Indiana Wesleyan University and her second semester on staff. She is a business enthusiast and an avid writer who aspires to travel the world.

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