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Student Hit By Car, Sustains Non-Life Threatening Injuries

Car Accident on Mass Ave.
A car accident involving a Harvard affiliate occurred Wednesday evening on Mass. Ave. near Widener Library.

A Harvard student sustained non-life threatening injuries after a car driving along Massachusetts Avenue in Harvard Square hit the student Wednesday evening, according to the Cambridge Police Department.

Around 5:20 p.m., the student was struck in the crosswalk on the avenue in front of Harvard Book Store, located at 1256 Massachusetts Ave., off Plympton Street. CPD officers and first responders arrived on the scene and transported the student to a local hospital. CPD issued the operator of the motor vehicle a citation at the scene, CPD Deputy Superintendent Dennis O’Connor wrote in an email.

Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Cameron J. Maltman ’20 witnessed the incident as he was walking from Widener Library to Adams House. Maltman said he was jaywalking across the avenue in front of TD Bank when he heard “an acceleration” from a car and then a scream.

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Maltman said he looked in the direction of the car and saw the student “fly up into the air” five or six feet above the ground “off the hood of the car.” A crowd of bystanders waited with the student until paramedics arrived and carried the student away on a gurney.

Rob J. Lutters, the manager of the eyeglass store SEE on Massachusetts Avenue near the location of the incident, said he did not see the accident occur but observed its aftermath.

Lutters became aware of the commotion on the street when a woman, who opened the door to his store, “screamed in the doorway and then just ran towards the crosswalk,” he said.

Following the woman outside, Lutters noticed a white car stopped in front of his storefront, which he identified as the vehicle that hit the pedestrian. Lutters said he saw the driver exit the car and run in the direction of the crosswalk toward the victim and a crowd of people, who were stopping traffic on the avenue.

Lutters said the car suffered noticeable damage, including a “localized smash” on the front window. The car — which had Tennessee license plates, a dent on its hood, and a cracked headlight — remained parked on the avenue directly in front of Tatte Bakery and Café as of Thursday night.

Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Steven G. Catalano declined to comment, deferring to CPD because the incident occurred on a city street.

After reflection, Maltman said he feels “frustrated.”

“Seeing fellow students have that happen to them is incredibly frustrating for me.” he said. “That should never happen. Things need to change.”

The incident bookends a semester that saw multiple traffic accidents in Harvard Square.

Just last week, a car driving through the same part of Massachusetts Avenue smashed through a gate and hit a tree, resulting in one fatality and one other injury.

In September, a truck fatally struck a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk next to the Out of Town News kiosk, the busiest intersection in Harvard Square.

Correction: Dec. 14, 2019

A previous version of this article included a caption identifying the driver involved in the accident as a Lyft driver. In fact, the car had a Lyft sticker.

—Staff writer Ema R. Schumer can be reached at ema.schumer@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @emaschumer.

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