January 25, 2001

Cornell Student Critically Injured in Auto Accident

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Kara E. Fitzpatrick ’01 was struck by a car in Collegetown early yesterday morning and is currently listed by officials, as of early this morning, in critical condition at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Penn.

At approximately 1:19 a.m. Wednesday, Fitzpatrick, 21, was crossing the street in the 400 block of Dryden Road. According to the Ithaca Police Department (IPD), Fitzpatrick stopped in the middle of the road to speak with the driver of a westbound vehicle when another car travelling in the opposite direction on Dryden hit her.

The senior was taken to Cayuga Medical Center and subsequently airlifted to Robert Packer, where she spent the day in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit. According to the IPD, Fitzpatrick, a student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, sustained a head injury in the accident.

The driver of the automobile, Cyril Youinou grad, gave IPD a statement after the incident and went to Cayuga Medical Center to have a blood sample taken. The IPD has not charged Youinou with any criminal wrongdoing.

According to Youinou, he was at Stella’s Restaurant on College Avenue with Imad Hmina grad. After leaving the establishment, Youinou was driving Hmina home when he hit Fitzpatrick as she stood in the street.

“The police official told me that [the accident] was not because of me,” Youinou said. “I stopped to brake before I hit her but it was too late.”

Eye Witness

John Farden ’01, a neighborhood resident, was in his room at the time of the accident, when he heard a “bang and then a scream.” One of his housemates who also heard the accident then called 911. The two of them subsequently went to the scene.

“It was very scary,” Farden said. “Everyone was just kind of panicked. [Fitzpatrick] was unconscious the entire time I was out there until the ambulance took her away.”

Under Investigation

Ithaca Police is still investigating the accident. Youinou said that IPD will issue a final report on Monday.

Fitzpatrick’s parents travelled yesterday to Robert Packer to be with their daughter.

Archived article by Rachel Pessah