Accidents eclipse the first day of classes

Three traffic accidents occurred on Alumni Drive Monday, adding a sour note to the first day of fall classes.

The first incident occurred when a black Acura struck senior Catherine Fackler, who was on her way to class, according to UP spokesperson Michael Klingebiel.

“I remember seeing the eyes of the driver, because his eyes were huge,” said Fackler, who was issued a $48.50 ticket for leaving a curb place of safety without a crosswalk. “The next thing I remember was going up on the hood, and then landing with my right side on the ground,” she said.

Fackler, a 33-year-old teaching assistant and criminology student, said she was not seriously injured and did not seek medical attention. Fackler said at least a dozen people crossed the road in the same spot she did.

University Police Sgt. Michael Rapp was on his way to the scene when his motorcycle was struck by an SUV, Klingebiel said.

According to Klingebiel, Rapp landed on his back and hit his helmet on the pavement. Rapp was taken to the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital and was released later Monday, according to UP Sgt. Frank Wassenberg, who said Rapp did not suffer any broken bones. It is not known if Rapp suffered other injuries.

An unidentified 21-year-old USF student ran into Rapp and, according to Klingebiel, the Florida Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation into the incident.

A third incident occurred Monday around 7 p.m. when a tan Honda Accord struck the hip of a female pedestrian at a crosswalk on Alumni Drive, according to Wassenberg, who was at the scene.

The victim, 21-year-old student Gianni Samaniego, was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she underwent X-rays and is in stable condition, Wassenberg said.

Samaniego was hit by USF student Allison Freeman, who was traveling westbound on Alumni Drive when the incident occurred. Freeman, 20, was cited for a pedestrian crosswalk violation, a ticket worth $120.50, Wassenberg said.