Rash of Car Accidents Near Campus

Olivia Ernst ’24, Guest Writer

Multiple car accidents have occurred in the past month of October along the streets surrounding Dickinson College. According to the Carlisle Police Department, there was one car accident on Wednesday, October 12 at the intersection between W. Louther Street and N. West Street, and another accident at the same intersection roughly one week later. Residents of the Pi Beta Phi house also witnessed an additional accident that took place again at the W. Louther Street and N. West Street intersection on October 7, prior to the other two accidents. 

Laura Mertz ’24, said she heard the crash while inside the house and proceeded to go outside and investigate, reporting “I saw a car that had crashed into the building and then another car near that car that was banged up a little bit. There was a firetruck, an ambulance and a police car, and they blocked off the road.” 

Car accidents occurring at the intersections that run through Dickinson’s campus are not a new occurrence this semester. Last spring, Sasha Quinlan ’22, was involved in an accident that occurred at the intersection between N. College Street and W. Louther Street, one street over from where the recent three accidents took place. 

Quinlan explained that she was hit by a vehicle while walking through the crosswalk. According to Quinlan, “I saw that the walk sign was on and I waited, looked left and right, and then I was walking and then she [the driver] turned left at that intersection by the quarry and hit me, but I couldn’t have seen her because she was coming from the other lane and after that I don’t really remember anything.” As a result of the incident, Quinlan said she experienced short-term and long-term health issues. 

The recent accidents near campus, as well as Sasha’s experience, raise questions regarding traffic safety on Dickinson’s campus. While seeking further information regarding accidents near campus, one of Carlisle PD’s Public Safety Coordinators, who has been working under the department for nearly 33 years, explained that car accidents are categorized by the department as either “reportable” or “non-reportable”. 

For an accident to be considered “reportable,” it involves an injury or requires that a vehicle be towed. Anything else falls in the “non-reportable” category. In addition to the three reportable accidents from October, he disclosed that there have been a total of 506 non-reportable accidents and 128 reportable accidents in the Borough in the past 10 months. However, he also reported that he would not say there has persistently been a higher volume or increase in accidents at Dickinson College compared to the general Carlisle area. While there seems to not be a higher rate of accidents on campus in comparison to the rest of the town, he did mention that Carlisle PD does receive many complaints about the crosswalks on campus.