Around 10:12 p.m., a University Police vehicle was responding to a 911 call regarding the gathering of a large group near the Stony Brook University student union building, officials said on the scene last night. While responding to the emergency call, the officer “accidentally struck a student pedestrian,” Stony Brook University’s Chief of Police and Assistant V.P. for Campus Safety, Robert J. Lenahan said.
Identified after the crash only as a female student, officials said she was walking on the south sidewalk of Circle Road, just west of Engineering Drive. Citing eyewitness reports, Lenahan said the police car was “traveling with its emergency lights activated” when the officer struck a sidewalk, causing the car to veer across lanes of traffic and onto the opposite roadway's sidewalk, striking the student.
“Witnesses reported that the vehicle continued down an embankment and the pedestrian became lodged underneath the vehicle,” Lenahan said. The officer then radioed back to University Police headquarters requesting assistance and multiple emergency response agencies arrived to the scene. Emergency crews from the Setauket Fire Department, Stony Brook Fire Department, and Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps rushed to the scene to assist the trapped student.
A spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Police Department said officers responded to assist Stony Brook University Police with the crash as well.
Fire officials on the scene said the student was pinned under the police car for about 20 minutes before being extracted by rescue equipment. Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corp. vehicles were seen rushing across Nicolls Road from West Campus to the East Campus hospital around 10:55 p.m. The student remains hospitalized at Stony Brook University Hospital in fair condition, Lenahan said Friday afternoon.
According to hospital documentation, a patient listed in fair condition is said to be conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Vital signs of the patient are stable and within normal limits, while indicators are favorable.
The identities of the police officer and student were not released by police and officials declined to say how long the officer has been on the force. The police officer sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from the hospital, college officials said.
University Police investigators are “still in the process of conducting witness interviews,” Lenahan said. An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.