Women on Ft. Douglas crosswalk struck by Jeep

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

A Jeep struck a woman crossing the street by Officer’s Circle on Tuesday morning.

Robert Jacob, 58, was driving northbound on Fort Douglas Blvd. at about 9 a.m. on Oct. 7 when his black Jeep hit 18-year-old Alisha Aires, who was using the crosswalk at the intersection on Lewis Street by the Officer’s Club.

Aires wound up in the street almost 20 feet away, said John Hailes, a groundskeeper who went to see what had happened. A crowd of about 30 people immediately began to gather around the scene, but kept their distance from the collapsed victim, he said.

Aires suffered several broken bones and was rushed to the U Hospital in critical condition, said Sgt. Arb Nordgran. Ryann Rasmussen, a spokeswoman for U Health Care declined to comment about Aires’ medical status.

The police report did not say if Aires is a U student.

Campus police directed traffic until 9:40 a.m., said Elizabeth Crawford-Bizzell, a former writer for The Daily Utah Chronicle who witnessed the accident. When they stopped a campus shuttle at the intersection, all of the students on board immediately took in the scene and fell silent, she said.

Aires, lying stunned in the street, didn’t seem to know what had happened to her, said Kristen Simek, another groundskeeper at the scene of the accident. She only started to show signs of pain after a few intense moments passed, she said.

Jacob told police he did not see Aires before his car hit her at about 25 miles per hour, Nordgran said. Campus police would not comment as to whether Jacob was cited or booked for the accident, since the incident is still under investigation.

Hailes, who maintains the grounds on upper campus every morning, said cars were still driving through the scene without stopping to see what had happened. He said he sees cars driving up and down Fort Douglas Boulevard at all sorts of careless speeds. The worst ones pull out of the Residence Hall parking lots like the road is a speedway.

“It’s the most unnecessary, stupid way to get hurt,” he said.

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