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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Victim: ‘Happy I’m living today’

Peter Raisanen, nutritional sciences senior, is the 25-year-old who was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries on Tuesday after being hit by a streetlight.

The 19-year-old driver of a maroon Jeep Cherokee was heading east on Sixth Street approaching Highland Avenue. There was a green traffic light for cars traveling from east to west, and one vehicle was attempting to turn south onto Highland Avenue, said Sgt. David Fernandez, a Tucson Police Department officer who was at the scene of the accident.

The vehicle stopped in the middle of the road as pedestrians were walking in the crosswalk. The Cherokee went onto the sidewalk and hit a pole in an attempt to avoid hitting the stopped vehicle. The Cherokee knocked the pole over, and it hit Raisanen.

Raisanen has four crushed vertebrae and several broken ribs. He is expected to leave the hospital in a day or two and continue his care at home. Doctors say he will make a full recovery.

“”I’ve been doing fantastic. I guess doctors and nurses have said I’m very optimistic and positive about this; probably a couple more days and then I’ll be at home,”” Raisanen said.

He won’t be able to attend classes or work as a teaching assistant for the rest of the semester.

“”I’m so happy I have the professors and teachers that I have. They’ve come visited me, they make me feel so good to be who I am,”” Raisanen said. “”My teacher and professors are amazing.””

He will continue the two outside studies that he’s been working on with a pediatrician.

“”I will definitely be doing those — those are on my own time, not school credit at all — they’re all for awesome fun and I do those on my own every week,”” Raisanen said. “”I’ll definitely be working on those now that I’m not at school for the rest of the semester, ‘cause it gives extra time to focus on the extra things on my life.””

The driver went to the hospital to visit Raisanen.

“”I’m happy that the man, young lad, who hit the post came and talked to me,”” Raisanen said. “”He’s a very sincere young gentleman.””

Overall, he remains positive about the situation.

“”I don’t deserve anything from any day and anything that’s given to me is a blessing,”” he said. “”I’m just happy I’m living today, that I can be there.””

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