campus crash site

Courtesy of John Abed

A drunk driving incident Wednesday night on campus has left an 18-year-old Western student in hospital with life threatening injuries.

The victim is a resident of Medway-Sydenham Hall.

The accident occurred near Talbot College and Delaware Hall around 11:30 p.m., when the driver of a minivan lost control and hit a female pedestrian on the sidewalk.

The driver of the vehicle has been arrested by the London Police Service. He has been identified as Jared DeJong, a 24-year-old from London, and has been charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm, impaired operation causing bodily harm and having in excess of 80 mg of alcohol per of blood.

car crashed against pole

Courtesy of John Abed

Brandon Gaebel, a third-year social science student, was driving a car with four passengers near Talbot College when he saw DeJong’s vehicle go off the road onto the sidewalk. The car hit a streetlight pole after colliding with the victim.

Gaebel and his friends got out of the car to aid the young woman.

John Abed, a second-year science student, was also in the car with Gaebel.

“We immediately got out of the car and ran towards the [other] car and then saw the woman who was struck unconscious on the far left of the tennis court building,” Abed said.

Brandon and Abed mentioned that though they didn’t see the driver or any passengers flee the car, the car was empty when he and his friends approached the scene.

“I took off my suit jacket and moved to help [the victim],” Gaebel said. “I established that she had a pulse and was breathing and made sure that she wasn’t moved, as other witnesses had told me she had been thrown over 20 yards after being struck by the [car].”

Another witness had already called emergency services in the mean time.

crashed car with firefighter walking in front of it

Courtesy of Brandon Gaebel

“I was angry that somebody would be so reckless to drive under [the] influence and even to drive so fast and attempt to drift on that road. I was very upset about the woman being hit — life is so unfair,” Abed said.

Gaebel also expressed his anger at the alleged intoxication of the driver which led to the accident.

“We did what little we could and I think it would hit all of us who were there pretty hard if she didn’t make it. No one wants another drunk driving statistic,” he said. “To be honest I was furious, I kept my composure but I have never understood why someone would drive drunk. It’s inexcusable and in this case I think it’s damning.”

DeJong appeared in court on Thursday and was released on $1,500 bail on conditions that include driving and alcohol bans.

The LPS is currently investigating and has requested anyone with information to contact them.

Source: Western Gazette