A University of La Verne student struck three parked cars Monday afternoon on the third floor of the campus parking structure.
Nobody was hurt, and Campus Safety Officer Jerry Espinoza, who would not reveal the student’s name, said that the student reported the accident to Campus Safety and Espinoza left notes on the damaged vehicles that read “contact campus safety,” so the owners could address the situation.
When they came to pick up their cars, they were given the information of the person involved in the accident.
“I thought it was an accident, but as soon as I pulled up I realized nobody was in any of the cars so I was kind of stunned, like someone really just left the car here,” junior criminology major Samantha McKinney said.
The incident was actually documented as an accident, not a hit and run, since the person involved reported it herself. Her car was left parked behind the ones she ran into when McKinney got to the structure, so it appeared that the person at fault had fled the scene.
“Once the information is obtained, we notify the La Verne Police Department. Since the accident was on private property and the incident was not a crime, they did not respond to take the report,” Espinoza said.
He added that Campus Safety does not conduct investigations for accidents, though police and insurance companies might.
Campus Safety Officer Chris Lockwood said he arrived about an hour after the incident and waited by the last remaining car for the owner to retrieve it.
“In the structure, that was probably the most damage and most cars involved (in an accident),” Lockwood said.
The new parking structure opened last summer. Subsequently stop signs and speed bumps were installed and last month spaces at the corner turning points were blocked off to improve visibility and safety.
“By eliminating that last stall, people can turn right or left closer to the edge of the intersection. People no longer have to turn wide and (possibly) collide with cars from the other side,” Espinoza said.
“With the combination of speed bumps and the stalls being blocked off, we have seen a decrease in accidents,” Lockwood said.
He said that Campus Safety had noticed patterns like accidents happening mostly inside the structure, vs. at entrances and exits, and more collisions happening at busy times between classes.
Safety and Risk Management addresses safety issues very quickly, he added.
Espinoza said he recommends that everyone drive defensively, be cautious and focus on parking instead of texting or anything else since it is such a tight space.
Tyler Evains can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.