Former UB student Hannah Christensen arraigned Friday morning
Christensen faces felony charge; could face up to four years in prison
Erie County Supreme Court released former UB student Hannah Christensen from her second arraignment Friday morning before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.
Christensen faces one count of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, which resulted in a serious physical injury, a class “E” Felony, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn. Christensen pleaded not guilty.
If convicted, Christensen faces up to four years in prison.
Paul Glascott, Chief of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case.
Christensen was allegedly driving on Nov. 1 in front of Hadley Village when she hit UB student Renuka Ramanadhan, who was walking in the crosswalk. Christensen fled the scene and drove to a nearby parking lot where she watched emergency responders treat the victim, according to Flynn’s press release.
The victim was hospitalized for "a significant period of time" with a traumatic head injury. She is now out of the hospital and attending school again, according to Flynn.
Christensen was a sophomore biological sciences student at the time of the hit-and-run. UB officials declined to comment on her enrollment, but confirmed she is no longer a student.
Christensen never reported the incident and University Police arrested her on Nov. 16.
Flynn said Christensen would not face criminal charges if she had reported the incident. He said he has no plans to offer Christensen a plea deal.
“Ms. Christensen is a 20-year-old UB student who never got in trouble in her life before and she just made a terrible decision here,” Flynn said. “These decisions on most of these hit-and-runs are panic decisions where you know you’ve done something, you know you’ve hit somebody, but you make a critical error in judgment. You don’t think about the consequences and you leave the scene and now she’s facing a felony charge.”
Christensen’s third arraignment is scheduled for April 9 for a pre-trial report.
Hannah Stein and Jacklyn Walters are Spectrum editors and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.