Five students were injured, two critically injured, as of Saturday morning following a Friday night car collision on Sheridan Drive near Sweet Home Road, according to Amherst Police.
A 20-year-old student from Centereach, NY was driving a 2012 Chevrolet when the vehicle and an Amherst Police vehicle collided shortly before midnight, according to the Amherst Police. UB spokesperson Cory Nealon says Amherst Police is investigating the collision.
“A representative from the university is at Erie County Medical Center, where the five students were taken for treatment,” Nealon wrote in an email statement. “UB officials are in contact with the students’ families, and are providing whatever assistance is needed.”
The Spectrum could not reach a representative of ECMC for an update on the students’ conditions Sunday morning.UB has not released the names of the students involved in the crash.
Andrew Lauricella, a sophomore electrical engineering major, and Connor Bittlingmaier, a sophomore biomedical engineering major, witnessed the collision Friday night after their friend’s car broke down in a nearby McDonald’s parking lot.
Lauricella wrote that he looked at the road after hearing a siren turn on and saw two police cruisers drive toward an intersection. He said he looked down for a “moment” before he heard a loud noise and looked back up to see one of cruisers and another car had collided. The crash occurred about five to seven seconds after the cruisers turned on their sirens, according to Lauricella.
Lauricella wrote that the other car had a green light at the time, while the police cruisers had a red light.
“The car that was hit had a green light at the intersection when the crash occurred, and the cruisers had a red light,” Lauricella said. “It did not appear that the cruisers slowed down at the red light, which resulted in the severity of the crash.”
Amherst Police cannot confirm the witness’ accounts.
Bittlingmaier also wrote the police cruisers had a red light when they entered the intersection and the UB students had a green light. Bittlingmaier said the cruiser collided with the passenger side of the students’ car.
After the crash, the police cruiser that wasn’t involved in the collision pulled to the side and the officer inside went to assist those involved in the crash “immediately,” according to Lauricella. The officer checked on the other police cruiser before checking on the students’ car, according to Bittlingmaier.
Two ambulances, along with police cars and a fire truck, arrived roughly one minute after the crash, according to Lauricella. Bittlingmaier said the emergency services arrived “within two minutes.”
Bittlingmaier wrote that it took approximately 20 minutes for emergency services to get the students out of the car.
This is a developing story.
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Brenton J. Blanchet is the 2019-20 editor-in-chief of The Spectrum. His work has appeared in Billboard, Clash Magazine, DJBooth, PopCrush, The Face and more. Ask him about Mariah Carey.
Julian Roberts-Grmela is a senior news editor for The Spectrum and an English and philosophy major. His favorite book is “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith and he hopes that one day his writing will be as good as hers.