COLUMBIA — An MU student was struck and injured by a pickup truck as she tried to cross Providence Road early Thursday.
Lynn S. Underwood, 18, was taken to University Hospital after she was struck around 1:20 a.m. by a red, 2000 Chevrolet pickup. Police said she was being treated for moderate head and facial injuries.
Police said Underwood stepped into the path of the pickup, and that her body smashed into the windshield of the truck and fell into the dividing center lane at the intersection of Providence and Burnam roads near the Grasslands neighborhood.
The driver of the truck, Brandon Wulff, 19, and a passenger, Leah Kennett, 18, were not injured. As they were interviewed at the scene by police, Wulff wrung his hands and appeared overwhelmed by what had just happened.
Wulff was not charged and was allowed to leave the scene.
Matthew McDonald was traveling in a taxi two vehicles behind the truck when the accident happened.
“I was talking to my friends when all of a sudden the taxi screeched to a stop, and I looked up and saw the girl laying in the middle of the street,” McDonald said.
Police and paramedics arrived and halted traffic going north as Underwood lay in the street being treated for about 20 minutes. She was then taken to the hospital.
Much of the MU Greek community lives near the intersection, and a large crowd of people flocked to the flashing lights and sirens of the squad cars and ambulance. Many of the onlookers were dressed in costumes and were returning from Halloween parties and bars. The groups looked on from the front lawns of neighboring fraternities, sororities and residential homes.
After Underwood was taken to the hospital, three squad cars remained as police questioned witnesses. Providence Road was partially reopened shortly after.
As cars slowly passed the accident scene, gazing out their windows at the smashed windshield and large crowd, women dressed as an angel, a devil and two in overall-cutoffs attempted to answer police questions through tears. The costume-clad group cried and huddled together in the cold as a police officer attempted to assure them their friend was going to beOK.
As the crowd dispersed and interviews wrapped up, Underwood’s red heels and other belongings laid in the grass on the side of the road. Her friends gathered the items as they walked toward University Hospital.
Seven friends of Underwood were gathered in the hospital waiting room an hour after the accident. Some camped out with Subway sandwiches, while others were on their cell phones attempting to reach Underwood’s parents’ in Illinois. The group was visibly upset and declined comment, saying it was a private affair.
Providence Road was cleared by 2 a.m. and traffic resumed to normal.