Senior hit by moving vehicle while walking toward campus

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Marie Cushmore was struck walking from CVS at the U.S. 1 and Mariposa Court intersection.

Marie Cushmore was walking back from filling a prescription at the CVS across from campus when a SUV struck her.

On Wednesday at approximately 9:30 p.m., the University of Miami senior was hit by a black Ford Expedition as she was crossing U.S. 1 and Mariposa Court.

According to Cushmore, she was crossing the street as the “stop” hand at the end of the pedestrian walkway was blinking. Cushmore thought she would have enough time to get across. She was trying to make it to a meeting on campus.

The driver, who Cushmore said might not have seen her since it was dark and she was wearing her dark green Academic Fellow shirt, swerved away from her and hit her with his taillight.

“I knew the guy didn’t mean to hit me,” Cushmore said.

Cushmore remained conscious as she was knocked into the grass by the Metrorail station.

“It’s hard to see what the lights are changing to,” she added.

Cushmore was immediately checked in to the Jackson Ryder Trauma Center where she was under 24-hour observation. While she did not experience any head trauma, she did receive extensive bruising and other injuries.

“It was a lot to go through because of the injuries I’ve sustained,” Cushmore said. “The Jackson Memorial Health service was a big part of helping me to recover. Friends, family and staff have been very supportive.”

Cushmore declined to comment further on her injuries because she is still recovering. Coral Gables police who worked on the case were unavailable for comment.

The intersection where Cushmore was hit has had a history of accidents involving UM student pedestrians. Over five years ago, UM student Ashley Kelly was killed when she was hit by a SUV that ran a red light on U.S. 1 and Mariposa Court.

Since 1990, seven students have been struck crossing Ponce de Leon Boulevard and U.S. 1. Three of the incidents have resulted in death.

“It’s really infuriating because that intersection has always been so dangerous,” said Caroline Mauriello, a friend of Cushmore’s. “I feel that people turning from U.S. 1 just don’t pay attention.”

After the accident, Student Government passed the “Ashley Kelly Resolution” to build a pedestrian overpass across U.S. 1 at Mariposa. The bridge was expected to be completed by spring 2010, however, there has been no movement to begin construction due to lack of Miami-Dade County funding.

“We have been working with Miami-Dade County and will be engaging the city of Coral Gables in an effort to speed completion of this project,” read an official statement released by the university Thursday afternoon.

Alexandra Leon may be contacted at aleon@themiamihurricane.com.

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4 Comments

  1. Unfortunately a pedestrian bridge is not the answer. Who in their right mind would climb two flights of stairs at each end when theres a direct path on the ground? The answer lies in traffic control. Add time to the light in pedestrians favor and narrow the lanes of traffic to slow vehicles in the area. As it is right now, if you don’t start briskly walking the second the light changes you will definitely find yourself in the middle of US-1 in traffic. Traffic control is the only answer to a situation like this.

  2. Once the bridge is built will students be prohibited from crossing at Stanford or Alhambra because it is too “dangerous” to cross US-1? Be careful of unintended consequences. How about better University and Coral Gables PD traffic enforcement to stop red-light running, drunk driving, and pedestrians crossing against the light?

  3. What happened to Cushmore and Kelly is really unfortunate and sad. However, it is not always the driver’s fault. Pedestrians should be more careful and considerate when crossing the streets. Of course, both pedestrians and drivers should be. For instance, today I almost hit a girl that was crossing the street. It was at the light on Ponce de Leon’s garage. I was on the left lane, while the right lane had a line due to the shuttle. It was raining horribly. You could barely see anything. I was about to pass the green light at the speed of 30 when out of no where this girl with really dark aviator sunglasses decides to cross the street in slow motion, while on the phone and while it’s pouring and really difficult to see. I had to brake as soon as I saw her, even my car skidded. She did not even look at me as she finished crossing the street as slowly as she could.

    If I would have braked a second later, she would be in the hospital and I would be in serious trouble when it is clear that it would not have been my fault. This is going to sound bad, but pedestrians think that just because they are pedestrians they can cross it as slowly as they can or do whatever they want. Not everyone who crosses the street is like that, but the majority are. Stop blaming just the drivers, when it is clear that pedestrians are at fault as well.

  4. Even though it’s horrible when anyone gets hit by a car, I don’t understand why people magically think that a walkway will eliminate any risk of crossing the street. Just remember this simple fact: Every day, hundreds of people cross that street, and one 7 since 1991 have been hit. If we were to do the math, you would notice that the odds are mighty small of a person being stuck by a car at that intersection. You don’t build multimillion dollar bridges, just because there’s a slight chance someone may get hurt. This city/county has many more pressing issues than a walkway for the University community. I hope Ms. Cushmore fully recovers, and I doubt she was doing anything wrong, but we also have to look at some of the risky behaviors a lot of us take in regard to crossing that street. I was a freshman the year Ashley Kelly was killed(Oh the wonder years of undergrad), and I can still remember kids just walking out in the middle of the street like it was nothing, even though the stop signal was up. I’ve watched for years as kids jaywalked, tried to “beat” the light, and whatnot.

    Yes, you have people that break the law, and it’s possible for people to lose their lives, but get over this bridge thing. We can’t expect for this thing to be built, because occasionally, someone may get hit. Walking in this city carries some risk, especially with the way people drive around here.