Student Arrested in Accident That Leaves Man an Amputee

The lower left leg and right foot of a jogger were severed in a traffic accident early Friday morning near Harvard Square, and a Harvard summer school student has been charged with "operating under the influence of alcohol" and "operating to endanger" in connection with the incident.

Robert Hamilton, an architect and Cambridge resident, was jogging on Brattle Street around 3 a.m. Friday when two cars collided and he was thrown into the bushes. He was not discovered for nearly 20 minutes after the accident, rescue officials said yesterday.

Officials on the scene found Neal J. Fitzgerald, the student, of Arlington, and Wayne Battle, of Somerville, arguing after their cars had allegedly collided.

Police later in the evening booked Fitzgerald on the two misdemeanor charges, then released him on his own recognizance before trial, scheduled for August 21. Battle was not arrested.

Fitzgerald could not be reached for comment yesterday. Christopher Morris, dean of students for the summer school, said yesterday he was "not familiar" with the incident, and Harvard had not yet taken any action as a result of it.

"Mr. Hamilton is in stable condition and is progressing fine." Peter Gerace, director of public relations for Mt. Auburn Hospital, said yesterday, adding that the Hamilton family had not given permission to release the result of doctors' efforts to reattach his legs.

Acting Lt. James E. Bergin of Cambridge Fire Rescue Unit Four, the first medical attendant to see Hamilton, said yesterday the victim was "conscious" when first discovered 20 minutes after the collision.

"He was lying in the bushes with his left leg severed at the shin and about ten feet away from him." Bergin said, adding that "his right leg was broken above the ankle and his right foot was partially amputated."

"I think he lost the right foot, too," Bergin added.

Police officials on the scene said they discovered the victim after finding a bloodied sneaker near the site of the accident.

Police said it "wasn't strange at all" to see Hamilton jogging at that hour. "He had a mountain-climbing accident three years ago and doctors told him he would never walk again," officer James Sugrue said in published reports. Sugrue said Hamilton walked "with a definite limp," and added that he "ran whenever he felt like it."

Sugrue said Hamilton was the architect who had designed the lobby of Cambridge police station.