CCU student hit by car; school making changes to walkways

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Just before noon Wednesday, Coastal Carolina University officials say a student driving a red truck turned through a crosswalk near campus, striking and injuring another student. A report from the incident calls the collision an accident, but around campus, many students see it as another reason to be more careful around campus roads.

While Wednesday wasn't deadly, other accidents there in the past have been.

"They don't watch for pedestrians, they drive way too fast for where they're driving, and frankly, a lot of the time they don't even pay attention to stop lights," said senior Landon Sluyter.

Sluyter says while he is always as careful as can be, he sometimes worries about becoming another speed bump for some unsafe drivers. Just a few days ago, he had a close call of his own.

"I was going for a crosswalk and this person blew through it and waved at me as they went by. So it's not like they didn't see me, they just didn't care," Sluyter said.

"We're taking a lot of steps and spending some money to make things as safe as we can," explained Executive Vice President of CCU Eddie Dyer.

While the problem continues off campus, on campus, officials are trying to fix it.

As a part of its master plan, the University is spending more than $500,000 to make campus more pedestrian-friendly.

"You can't put a price tag on a human life or human safety," Dyer said.

By next spring, University Boulevard will have a new stoplight that stops in all four directions to keep walkers safe. CCU will also install a traffic table at one crosswalk, along with putting in a whole new crosswalk by Brooks Stadium.

Administrators say they believe with all the changes, we will see fewer accidents or close calls here.

"I think it will definitely make some improvements, but I doubt it's going to solve the problem completely," Sluyter said.

Not all students believe in the change though. Students like Sluyter ultimately believe the drivers will need to change just as much as the campus for things to be safe.

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