Students give insight to events of fatal accident

Several students were on the scene within minutes after a car struck Hannah Morris, a member of the class of 2017 at Allegheny, on Oct. 29 while she was crossing North Main Street. She died hours later from the injuries.

Three of the students on scene after the accident were roommates Jocelyn Serafin, ’17, Brianna Martig, ’16, and Sarah Shindler, ’16. Shindler said she heard the impact of the car because her North Village II dorm room window was open. She gathered Martig and Serafin and they all went out to see if they could help.

“It was so dark out there that I couldn’t see [Morris’] face,” said Serafin.

According to the three students, a nurse happened to be driving by, got out of her car to tend to Morris. Serafin said Morris was responsive by the time they reached the street.

“We could hear her talking,” she said.

Martig said she called campus security and others dialed 9-1-1 for paramedics. Martig said that several other drivers had stopped and that one parked his car at the top of the street to prevent others from entering the road.

The students said that the driver who struck Morris also made efforts to help until paramedics arrived, after which he broke down crying.

Brooks worker Yvonne Longstreth said Morris was always friendly.

“She was a very nice girl, always happy,” Longstreth said. “She will be missed.”

Timur Dikec, ’16, the community adviser in Caflisch, the dorm in which Morris lived, said he was awakened around 2:45 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 30 by a call from Jen Foxman, assistant dean and director of residence life. Foxman told him the news of Morris’ death. Dikec said he was shocked after how hopeful the initial news had been.

“For a while, the story was that she was OK,” he said. “It’s such a sudden change to go from hearing that someone is hurt, but should be OK, to going to they’ve passed away.

“[Foxman] said that after the initial diagnosis, there were complications. There were some things they didn’t realize and that she had passed away.”

After that, Dikec said he and Foxman gathered the resident advisers and explained to them what happened.

“It was all over their faces, just disbelieflike how could this happen,” he said.

After breaking the news to the RAs, Dikec said he spoke with Brittany Hunt, ’16, and that she had some ideas about ways to reach out to the community.

Dikec said the residence life members reached out to people they could identify as closest to Morris first, such as her roommate and her boyfriend, and counselors were sent to their rooms immediately.

A general email was sent out by Foxman to the Caflisch residents around 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 30 so that they knew before the general campus community.

“We wanted to make sure that each of you received the message before it went out to the whole community,” Foxman wrote in the email.

Dikec said therapy dogs will be on campus on Monday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m. in Reis Hall as a supportive measure. Dikec also instructed his RAs to be in their rooms as much as possible for the next week with open doors in case anyone wants to talk with them. If Morris’ family decides to have a memorial service on campus, Dikec wants to hold a breakfast beforehand for his residents and to travel to the service together.

“We know that there’s not really a lot we can do to make the situation better now, and that it’s going to take time, but we want to make sure people know that if they are looking for help and they want help, we’re here to support that,” Dikec said. “If we have the means to do that then we’ll do everything in our power to make them feel safe and taken care of.”