CEDAR CITY – A Southern Utah University freshman was struck by a pickup truck while crossing Thunderbird Way in Cedar City Thursday night as she was heading from the dorms to the college.
The Cedar City Police Department, SUU Police and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the 500 West block of Thunderbird Way after a report of the accident was received at 7:19 p.m., Cedar City Police Cpl. Murray Suttlemyre said.
The SUU student, a woman, was conscious and alert when first responders arrived on the scene, Suttlemyre said, though she was covered in visible lacerations.
It appears the man driving the truck was traveling at the designated speed limit, 30 mph, when he struck the girl, Suttlemyre said. He was heading west with the setting sun ahead of him.
“With the time of day and everything, he said he didn’t see the girl with the sun shining so bright in his eyes,” he said.
The force of the impact was strong, knocking the girl about 10 feet through the air before she landed and slid another 5 feet or so and came to a stop.
The injured woman’s resident adviser at the dorm said she saw the whole thing. Though she doesn’t know the victim well, RA Sarah Chugg said, she feels responsible for the safety of all the residents and is concerned about the young woman in the hospital.
“I don’t think she had any bones broken,” Chugg said. “She was just scraped up really bad and she had some bumps on her head.”
There was no suspicion of drugs or alcohol playing a role in the incident, Suttlemyre said, and no citations were issued.
Pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents are a major problem in the area, officers on the scene said. They happen frequently all around campus despite the many crosswalks, lights and brightly colored signs.
“It’s awareness,” one officer said. “They have crosswalks, but they don’t get used. People just kind of cross along that whole stretch and everyone’s looking out for them, they think.”
The girl was not in the crosswalk, Suttlemyre said, and it is unclear if she looked before crossing.
Investigation is still underway to determine the full scope of the accident.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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