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WCSU Student Dies From Hit-and-Run

A Western Connecticut State University student dies after being critically injured from a hit-and-run Tuesday.

A 19-year-old Western Connecticut State University student has died of his injuries after being struck by a vehicle described to be dark and boxy at about 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, university officials said.

The student was identified as Dong Lin, of Brookfield, university officials said. He was a nonmatriculated student enrolled in three entry-level classes this semester, officials said.

The Brookfield student was crossing White Street in the area of Hoffman Fuels when he was struck by the vehicle that then fled the scene, witnesses told police, according to a statement issued by University President James W. Schmotter. Lin was taken to Danbury Hospital where he died later Tuesday, a university spokesman said.

Campus and Danbury police are working on the investigation, officials said. The Danbury police's public information officer could not be reached for comment.

The university's counseling center at 203-837-8690 will provide counseling for anyone who needs to talk about the incident.

Correction: The student died from his injuries as a result of the incident. An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect status.

John Tuttle November 26, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Unfortunately, economics come into play when lights or signage are under consideration, which is an absolute disgrace. There is no dollar value that can be assigned to a human life. Unfortunately, many people are more inclined to pay attention to a light that connotes a traffic violation than they are to pay attention to another human being in the roadway. I believe people are arguing a couple of somewhat mutually exclusive issues. The crosswalk law, statewide, is a disaster that should be addressed. As it is presently constituted, people will continue to be struck and killed, regardless of who is at fault. Drivers who do everything within their power to avoid striking a pedestrian are almost always, if not always, freed from blame, provided there is not some condition within their control that made such an action impossible. Given the adverse conditions, the motorist who struck and killed Dong Lin most likely would have been freed from blame, provided s/he was not distracted by something that was within his or her control or was not affected by something that negated his or her ability to properly operate the machine s/he was driving. Of course, the ability to better determine what happened was denied by the only person who could provide any answers to the myriad questions people have been asking for days when s/he fled the scene of that horrible accident. The driver absolutely knew what happened: s/he never slowed down or applied the brakes; once Dong Lin was
John Tuttle November 26, 2011 at 04:19 PM
struck, s/he swerved to the left and slowed. S/he moved right for a moment, as if to pull over, and the next thing I knew, s/he took off. The bottom line is that on the evening of Tuesday November 22nd, an accident occurred. One of the two parties involved is incapable of giving his side of the story because he was killed. The only other party involved--the only one who had the ability to answer any of the questions countless people have had for days--chose to leave the scene without knowing the extent of the havoc s/he had wrought. When that car left the scene of that accident and that driver did not come forward shortly thereafter, any benefit of the doubt that I might have reserved for that individual dissipated. I hope that when this person is apprehended, the court uses the full extent of its power against him or her. Dong Lin is dead, and nothing that happens now will bring him back to life, but the person who left him lying on White Street should not have the ability to do that to another human being for as long as humanly possible.
John F. November 26, 2011 at 04:28 PM
You make the assumption some of us have never witnessed someone get struck by a car before. Not paying attention is what people do in a panic.
Nancy November 29, 2011 at 03:18 PM
John Tuttle's articulate and thoughtful comments are appreciated. And I agree with many who said that pedestrian crossing issues need to be much more aggressively addressed in Danbury, everywhere. Many times I have stopped for a pedestrian on Main Street or White Street and had a car in an adjoining lane or worse, behind me, pass and zoom past, nearly striking a pedestrian. But there also needs to be more education for pedestrians--I am not referring here to crosswalk/crossing issues, but to parking lots. More than 50% of the time when I am SLOWLY backing up in a parking lot, looking both ways repeatedly, a person walking through the parking lot will just go ahead and walk directly behind me as though challenging me to follow the "pedestrian always right" rule. Fortunately there has not yet been an accident. When I walk through a parking lot, I am always alert for car tail lights, movement, other signs that a person is about to pull out. What I see is many parking-lot pedestrians who never give this a thought;some of them are even texting and not looking where they are walking. Yes, ultimately it is still the driver's fault if there is a car/pedestrian clash in a parking lot; however, this also is an area of pedestrian safety that needs to be addessed. Parents with small children are VERY alert to this, but as people become more independent and no longer hold mom's or dad's hand, they often stop paying attention to parking lot safety.
Ashleigh November 29, 2011 at 07:57 PM
MCD - Jenna isn't saying that people should be mowing down every single person in the road, she's stating a simple fact. Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk. You absolutely MUST stop if there is someone in a crosswalk... that isn't optional by law (even though there are TONS of motorists who completely disregard this). You also MUST stop if you see someone anywhere in the road. That being said, pedestrians must also obey by crosswalks and traffic lights. There is a lot of "I have the right of way so I'll just walk into the middle of this busy intersection when the light is green" mentality. Both parties need to be responsible.

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