Students rushed to hospital after accident


By Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer

Two UMass Dartmouth students were struck by a car while walking at night along Old Westport Road on Thursday, November 3.

Ellen Cavanan, 19, and Katherine Cavanan, 21, were hit by a car driven by John Allen, Westport resident.

Police arrived on the scene fairly soon after the accident had taken place, and the students were taken away to the hospital.

University spokesperson John Hoey confirmed the student’s identities and that they were part of the UMass Dartmouth student body.

Katherine Cavanan went to St. Luke’s Hospital and was promptly treated for her injuries and released.

Ellen Cavanan was sent to the Rhode Island hospital, but as of 4 p.m. on Friday, November 4 was in a stable condition, a hospital spokesperson said.

At the intersection of Cross Road and Old Westport Road were where the two students were hit, in the section near the crosswalk.

The area was dark, with only one streetlight providing sight onto the road. The students were walking at around 6:20 p.m. when the accident took place.

Allen was driving in a 2013 Audi A4, a car that is about fifteen feet long. It weighs roughly 3,516 pounds.

Since the accident took place outside of the UMass Dartmouth campus boundaries of Ring Road and the corresponding inlet, it was inside the jurisdiction of the Dartmouth Police.

They responded to the event, and are handling the investigations with regards to the accident and the overall sequence of events that was believed to have happened that night.

The police had responded within minutes of the accident due to a subsequent, anonymous 911 call and had arrived at the scene to investigate and access the needs of the situation.

It was then that the ambulance and other emergency services were called to transport the students to the hospitals.

The Dartmouth Police investigations unit for crashes was still there when classes had continued the next morning, and were reconstructing the site of the accident with the car that John Allen had been driving.

In response to the accident, further safety obstructions could be used, particularly for the area of the crosswalk, commented junior English major Emily Kelly.

Not many accidents were heard of in this area, but she said how that area could particularly use “better lighting so people could see.”

Detective Costa also said that safety precautions were an overall top priority, especially when traveling by foot or by car late at night.

He specifically stressed the importance “of being aware of your surrounding at all times” and “to watch out for when feeling fatigued.”

However, there was no clear evidence of any wrong doing on either party, and the investigation is still ongoing within the Dartmouth Police Department.

So far, they have no clear decision on the exact nature of the accident, and only could give advice on the generalities of staying safe.

Photo Courtesy: Google Maps


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