Updated: Accident occured on Nutwood and Commonwealth Avenues
UPDATE (8:26 a.m.): The woman who was struck by the vehicle is Cal State Fullerton student and Daily Titan Staff Writer Van Le. Le will be released from the hospital tomorrow, she said.
Updated: 8:15 a.m.
A Daily Titan staff writer was struck by a car with enough force to send her 10 to 15 feet while crossing Nutwood Avenue at Commonwealth Avenue as she was waitng to cross Nutwood toward Cal State Fullertonâ€™s main campus around 6 p.m. Wednesday, eyewitnesses said.
Van Le, a senior and communications major, was transported by ambulance to UCLA medical center with non-life threatening injuries.
â€œI thought she was going to get killed right there,â€ said Matt Rodarte, a Fullerton resident who saw her get hit.
â€œYou know how you take a rag-doll and throw it up in the air? Thatâ€™s what she looked like, just like a rag doll flying in the air,â€ Rodarte said.
Before ambulances arrived on scene, Le was conscious and writhing in pain in the street a few feet from the curb while witnesses tried to help her.
Le was struck when the driver of the Infiniti tried to beat a yellow light while crossing Nutwood and had to avoid a gray Toyota Matrix turning left across its path, Rodarte said. It then hit a white GMC Yukon that was turning right onto Nutwood and bounced into Le before running head-on into a traffic-signal pole.
Le had stepped into the street before the Infiniti hit the SUV with enough force to push it completely onto the sidewalk and knock over a smaller traffic signal, according to eyewitnesses.
â€œHad she been standing two feet back, she would have been crushed between the pole and the car,â€ Rodarte said.
The driver of the Yukon, Carolina Durazo â€“ who was visibly pregnant â€“ had no apparent injuries, but she was transported by the Fullerton Fire Department for medical attention, Evelyn Mercado, the front-seat passengerâ€™s cousin, said.
Four children, one as young as five years old, were also riding in the Yukon and were not seriously hurt.
â€œTheyâ€™re all really scared,â€ said Mercado, the girls aunt, who was holding the youngest girl.
Stunned students looked on from the corners of the intersection while cars piled up in either direction before police arrived on scene.
Faculty and staff filed out of the College Park building to see what had happened and clustered around the scene one witness called a â€œjumbled metal mess.â€
The driver of the Infiniti had no apparent injuries and declined to give his name or comment.
At the time of press, Campus Police would not release any information on the driver of the Infiniti, or if charges will be leveled against anyone involved.