Freshman remembers pedestrian crosswalk accident

The walk to south campus is routine for many St. Thomas students, but for one student, crossing at Cretin and Summit is more of a nightmare.

According to a Public Safety report, a St. Thomas student was struck by a vehicle while crossing at the intersection of Cretin and Summit avenues. Freshman Yung Jen Vang had spent the night studying with some friends and was headed back to her dorm.

“There seemed to be no cars out, so I looked both ways and I was crossing the intersection of Summit and Cretin when I was hit by a car,” Vang said.

After being thrown 25 feet, Vang said she was admitted to Regions Hospital for three days because she suffered a concussion. But compared to other accidents involving pedestrians, Vang said she realizes how lucky she is.

“Getting hit has been like life changing for me because it put me in a life-and-death situation,” Vang said. “The fact that I didn’t break any bones, I just had a concussion and a lot of internal bruising, it makes me very lucky to be alive.”

Public Safety officer Bill Carter said many students make assumptions about what a car is going to do, which is why educating people about proper safety is necessary.

“Public Safety, at the start of the school year, was out there being able to educate people better about when to cross, when not to cross, where to cross,” said Carter.

It comes down to following the basic safety precautions everyone has been taught since they were little, Carter said.

“It’s going back to the basics really,” Carter said. “It’s going back to observ[ing] the stoplights, paying attention when you are crossing, even when you have a green light and a walk, staying on the sidewalks, not cutting across midblock or jaywalking.”

These simple things can help pedestrians avoid an accident and potentially save a life, he said.

“Whether it be walking across the street or walking through the Upper or Lower Quad, or being on south campus, it is everyone’s responsibility to pay attention to where are they, what are they doing and be attentive to what their surroundings are,” Carter said.

Colleen Schreier can be reached at