Special Reports

PSU student struck by police car

A witness points to the scene of a pedestrian crash that involved a police cruiser around 1:40 a.m. Sunday morning. Police haven't yet released details. cdt/Sara Ganim
A witness points to the scene of a pedestrian crash that involved a police cruiser around 1:40 a.m. Sunday morning. Police haven't yet released details. cdt/Sara Ganim

STATE COLLEGE — A State College police cruiser was involved in a pedestrian crash early Sunday morning that left a 21-year-old Penn State student hospitalized in critical condition.

According to police, witnesses said that the pedestrian, identified as Kevin Ignatuk, of Thornton, darted from the sidewalk near 456 E. Beaver Ave., into the path of the marked police SUV.

The sergeant driving was uninjured, police said. He had his headlights on and was doing routine patrol but wasn’t responding to a call at the time.

Residents of nearby apartments said they heard the crash at about 1:40 a.m. and saw a badly injured person lying in the street.

Ian Cannon, who was visiting a friend for Blue-White weekend, said it was raining at the time.

“It was probably, I don’t know, maybe 30 seconds after it happened,” said Cannon, who walked to the balcony and saw Ignatuk in the street. “He definitely wasn’t moving at all.”

Ignatuk was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center and then flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, police said.

Cannon and his friend, Tom Provenzano, both visiting from New York, said they didn’t see the crash happen, only the aftermath. There were no visible markings on the street later Sunday morning. Provenzano heard skidding before the crash.

“I walked down there,” he said.

“His shoes got knocked off. He was out of his shoes.”

“The police officer was pretty distraught,” Provenzano said, pointing to a cell phone picture he snapped at 1:47 a.m. The picture shows a police SUV with a large dent in the front, and a person on the street ahead, injured.

Because a police officer was involved, the state police were called in to do an accident reconstruction report, according to a news release from State College Police Chief Tom King. Several witnesses were identified and the road was closed for about three hours. The crash is still under investigation, jointly, by State College and state police.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call state police at 355-7545 or State College police at 234-7150.

Sara Ganim can be reached at 231-4616.

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