A driver and passenger were injured after the driver crashed his vehicle into the side of the Hamilton College building in Kelly Quad at 2:45 a.m. Friday morning, police said. Robert Lenahan, the chief of police, said that after his department did an investigation they discovered that the driver, Wilfredo R. Arroyo, was under the influence of alcohol and was also in possession of a small amount of marijuana.
Medical personnel responded to the scene and brought the individuals to the University Medical Center. The passenger suffered neck and shoulder injuries and Arroyo had injuries to his arm and head. Arroyo was released after he was treated, then brought to the University Police headquarters and charged with driving while intoxicated, as well as being in possession of marijuana. Both individuals have no connection to the university.
“Although there was a serious injury sustained as a result of this incident, there could have been a far more tragic result,” Lenahan said in an email correspondence. “I would remind the campus community that our department has a zero tolerance policy and that if you are observed driving on campus while impaired, you will be arrested.”
Investigating officers interviewed nearby witnesses and said that a third person in the vehicle fled the scene before the emergency personnel arrived. Lenahan said that officers did a search of the area for the individual but they were unable to locate them. The university police are continuing to investigate the details of the accident and attempting to identify the individual.
Arianna Sertoli, a resident of Hamilton, said that she woke up because of a horn that was sounding consecutively. She walked out on her balcony and saw that a car crashed into the side of her building. She said that she saw fumes coming out of the car’s radiator and the entire front bumper and windshield were smashed.
“In the four years I have been here I never saw something like this,” Sertoli said.
Maria Sumoza, a resident assistant in Hamilton, said that there was no structural damage to the building. The resident hall director was unable to be contacted because she was away on vacation.
This is the second accident this week. On Thursday evening, a motor vehicle accident occurred on Circle Road near Roosevelt Drive. One of the vehicles swerved into oncoming traffic and the other vehicle tried to slow down to the avoid collision, but was unable to do so.
Despite refusal of medical treatment, all of the individuals were brought to the University Medical Center.
The driver of the vehicle who swerved into the wrong lane was issued a summons for failing to maintain her lane.
Even though the accident at Hamilton College led to serious injuries, the outcome could have been a lot worse. Drunk driving deaths accounted for 32 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2009. On average, someone is killed in an alcohol-impaired car accident about every 50 minutes in the U.S.