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University News

Two female students struck in hit-and-run

Contributing Writer
Sunday, April 10, 2011



Amanda Chew ’14 and Juliana Unanue Banuchi ’14 were hit on the corner of Hope and Charlesfield streets by an unidentified driver who immediately left the scene at approximately 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

The students “sustained moderate to serious but non-life-threatening injuries,” wrote Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, in an email to The Herald.

A suspect has been detained, and the Providence Police Department is currently investigating the case, said Department of Public Safety Sergeant John Heston shortly after the accident.

Heston declined to comment further but said the suspect was “probably” the driver of the vehicle.

The female students “were on the sidewalk, and a car accelerated onto the sidewalk and hit both of them. The driver was a woman, and once she hit both Amanda and Juliana, she reversed and left, leaving them injured on the sidewalk,” wrote Sofia Unanue ‘11.5, the sister of one of the victims, in an email to The Herald. The car that struck the students was a black Audi, wrote Juliana Unanue in an email to The Herald.

Witnesses who arrived later at the scene said they saw at least one of the students being put onto a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. The students were taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment, Quinn wrote.

Sofia Unanue wrote that her sister suffered a fractured right leg and will undergo surgery in the next few days. Chew suffered a mild concussion and other injuries to her head and is under observation, Sofia Unanue wrote.

Carmen Bonilla, a SafeRide driver who was on duty at the time, said when she drove up to the corner where the accident occurred, she “saw two students on the ground.” She said she approached the students, and one asked her in Spanish to “please get me help.”

While Bonilla said she did not see the accident take place, she said she spoke to a coworker who witnessed the accident. According to the coworker, the driver of the vehicle appeared to be drunk and immediately left the scene after the impact, Bonilla said.

“University officials have been in touch with the students and family members to offer support,” Quinn wrote. “As we learn more about the details of the accident, we will seek to determine if there are additional steps to be taken to strengthen pedestrian safety on and around campus.”

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