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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“UA student sustains multiple injuries from bicycle, pedestrian collision”

Bike traffic along the concrete vehicle accesses of the UA Mall can often become crowded, forcing pedestrians wayward onto the sidewalks and grass.
Bike traffic along the concrete vehicle accesses of the UA Mall can often become crowded, forcing pedestrians wayward onto the sidewalks and grass.

A UA student lost two teeth and spent almost six hours in the University Medical Center after being struck by a bicyclist near the McClelland underpass on Tuesday.

Courtney Wood, a communication junior, left her 8 a.m. class in Eller College of Management and walked toward the Park Avenue garage.

The bicyclist, Patrick Pfeifer, was southbound toward the Olive tunnel in the bike path when he struck Wood, according to the crash report obtained from University of Arizona Police Department.

Pfeifer, an anthropology senior, told the officer he could not avoid Wood and struck her with the front of his bike.

“”My perspective on the bicycle was that a pedestrian stepped out in front of me, her head was down and looking at her phone by the time she was in front of me, but I didn’t have time to come to a complete stop,”” Pfeifer said.

Pfeifer was thrown off his bike by the impact and got a half-inch cut on his chin according to the police report. Pfeifer said he received four stitches for the cut.

Wood fell face first onto the cement. She tore the muscle between her collarbone and shoulder, lost her left front tooth and her left lateral, located to the left of her center tooth, received eight stitches on her lip, and suffered from a minor concussion from her impact on the ground.

UAPD was called and the officer described her as “”disoriented.””

Wood was transported to UMC by the Tucson Fire Department.

“”I instantly blacked out when I hit my head on the cement,”” Wood said. “”I remember waking up in the ambulance 30 minutes later.””

UAPD did not file any charges because the accident took place on UA private property — not a city street — according to UAPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Juan Alvarez.

“”Traffic law doesn’t apply on private property unless it’s criminal like a DUI or reckless driving,”” Alvarez said. “”Only limited laws apply to private property.””

Alvarez said this type of accident  “”occurs often on campus and more often than we know about because it’s not reported because no one is injured.””

He added that while cell phones are a distraction, their constant use on campus does not increase the number of accidents.

“”There’s always been distractions,”” Alvarez said. “”It used to be when people were driving people would be talking to friends, putting make up on, paying attention to kids and any time you take your attention away it puts people at risk.””

The UA department of Risk Management Safety controls the bike paths and pedestrian lanes on campus.

“”We do look at crosswalks and stuff like that,”” said UA Health Safety Officer John Murphy. “”We would look at the way things are set up. If things like that happen, it gets reported as it would be unsafe, and we go and see what we thoughts we have and maybe correct it.””

Murphy confirmed that the McClelland underpass is a dangerous location for pedestrians and bicyclists.

If the crash goes to court, it will be solved in civil court and would move from fault to responsibility, Alvarez said.

“”So it could be a 40 – 60 (percent)split on who’s at fault.””

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