A journalism student was struck and injured by a vehicle at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday on a walk to Wise Guys Pizza.
Jimi Egan, a freshman from Evergreen Park studying journalism, was with friends when he was struck on the 500 block of South Illinois Avenue by a Silver Cadillac DeVille. Thomas Price, one of Egan’s accompanying friends, said the car was travelling well over the posted speed limit and drove through a red light.
“This car came flying down the road at what seemed like 50 or 60 miles per hour,” Price said. “I mean, this guy was absolutely flying. We had no time to react at all.”
Price said the vehicle hit Egan with the passenger side bumper and the right side of the car, which broke off the passenger side mirror and knocked Egan to the ground.
Austin Bennett, another friend and witness, said he was nearly struck by the car as well but managed to dodge the oncoming vehicle. Bennett said the car swerved out of the way to avoid hitting him, but hit Egan instead.
Price said he noticed a compound fracture once he looked down to check Egan’s condition. He said a bone forced itself out from underneath Egan’s calf.
The police arrived on the scene within seconds, Price said, and the ambulance arrived within two minutes. Egan was then taken to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale where his parents, who were in Carbondale for parents weekend, met up with him.
Bennett said he was in the hospital’s waiting room for about 40 minutes before learning Egan was stabilized and getting transferred to St. Louis University Hospital.
Egan underwent about three hours of surgery at the St. Louis hospital, Price said, and was told rods and screws were used to set his leg bones into place.
Although his friends were worried about Egan’s health, Price said Egan kept positive spirits as he was transferred out of the Carbondale hospital.
Egan’s father, James Egan, said although Jimi is still in pain, his condition has steadily improved since the accident.
James Egan said Jimi will not return to school this semester and may not return for the rest of the school year. Instead, James Egan said the family will look into physical therapy in the coming months.
Jimi wants friends to know he is OK, and he remains optimistic about his condition, James Egan said.
“He misses everybody down there,” Egan said. “That’s for sure.”
The Daily Egyptian was unable to obtain the driver’s identity by press time Monday.