Campus shuttle smashes into car

Jessica Kendall was driving off campus Friday to meet a roommate for lunch when a campus shuttle bus slammed into the back of her blue Jeep Cherokee.

Kendall said she was stopped behind a black Volvo at an intersection on the north side of campus when the shuttle plowed into the back of her SUV, causing her to rear-end the Volvo in front of her.

The incident occurred around 1 p.m. at the intersection of Wolcott Avenue and First South, near Greek Row and the Naval Sciences Building.

Kendall and two female passengers from the Volvo were spine-boarded and taken by ambulance to University Hospital for neck and back pain. After several tests, Kendall said she was released from the hospital with only a sore back from whiplash.

She had planned to take a test required to get into graduate school on Sunday, but the accident forced her to push the test back until November.

“Life is about timing-this was really bad timing,” Kendall, a senior exercise science major, told The Chronicle Saturday. “I’m glad I didn’t see the bus coming because I would have braced for it and (my injury) could have been worse.”

Police said the other two women involved in the accident had only minor injuries. Their names were not released.

A handful of students were on the shuttle that rear-ended Kendall’s SUV at the time of the accident. Ken Searles, associate director of the campus shuttle, said no students on the shuttle were injured.

He said students aboard the shuttle were immediately transferred to a different shuttle.

The collision severely damaged Kendall’s SUV, shattering her back window and covering the road with glass. The front and rear ends of her car were mangled from the impact.

Police took about an hour and a half to clean up the accident. Traffic was backed up two blocks east of the intersection.

Kendall said she was upset by the way the shuttle driver responded to the accident.

“He never got out the bus to see if I was OK,” she said. “I was really surprised.”

Searles said the driver, whose name hasn’t been released, will not be allowed to operate any campus vehicle until he passes a mandatory drug and alcohol test. He said disciplinary action would be determined pending the results of the test.

Salt Lake City police ticketed the shuttle driver for failure to yield.

Searles said damage to the shuttle was “only cosmetic,” estimating that repairs would cost no more than $1,000.

Lennie Mahler

A campus shuttle rear-ended senior Jessica Kendall’s Jeep Grand Cherokee Friday on 100 South near the Physics Building.