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The Daily Tar Heel

Graduate Student Struck by Car, In Fair Condition

A University epidemiology graduate student was listed in fair condition Wednesday night after being struck by a car in front of Whitehead Residence Hall.

Janet Gale Alexander, 31, of 102 Lilac Drive in Carrboro was bicycling east on McCauley Street when she was hit by a car turning left onto Pharmacy Lane, University Police Maj. Jeff McCracken said.

The two vehicles collided, throwing Alexander, who was not wearing a helmet, from her bicycle and over the hood of the car. Her head hit the windshield and smashed the glass.

Jenissa Switzer, a junior biology major, witnessed the accident while walking to the bus stop.

"It was the most horrible thing I have ever seen," Switzer said. "It's scary because it's something that could happen to anyone."

McCracken said the victim remained conscious at the scene and was taken to UNC Hospitals where she was treated for lacerations to the face and right hand, head injuries and possible neck injuries.

The driver of the car, Barbara Jean Currie, 56, of 804 W. Morgan St., Apt. T3A, Raleigh, was issued a citation for safe movement violation and failure to yield the right of way, police reports state.

McCracken said the vehicle was not traveling at an excessive speed. Currie apparently did not see the bicyclist as she made the turn, he said.

Although helmets for bicyclists are required by ChapelHill town ordinance, Alexander will not be issued a citation, police said.

The damage to the car was estimated at $700, while the bicycle sustained only minor damage, police reports state.

Sophomore Jim Everett, a member of Chi Phi fraternity, was parking his car in the lot adjacent to the fraternity house when the accident occurred.

"I pulled into the lot directly after it happened,"he said. "I saw the bike laying on the ground, so I ran in the house and called 911."

Orange County Emergency Medical Service and the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to the call, as did units from the Chapel Hill Police Department. McCracken said eight officers from University Police were at the scene providing assistance and blocking traffic.

"It all happened in slow motion,"Switzer said. "It was horrible. I ran into the dorm and called 911. I thought she was dead."

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