A truck hit two Keene State College seniors as they walked to their homes early Friday, November 1. Police said the driver of the truck was allegedly drunk when the incident occurred.
The driver, Randall Evan Daniels, from Keene, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or liquor after injuring the two KSC females on Main Street, according to the KPD report.
Melissa Gattilia, one of the seniors who was injured, said she and a friend were crossing Main Street from Cumberland Farms to Dominos pizza when they were hit.
“We were walking back home from Scores [Sports Bar and Grill]. We were walking in the middle of the road and the guy just ran us over,” Gattilia said.
A KSC student who asked to remain anonymous witnessed the accident and said, “Everyone came out of Cobble [Cobblestone Ale House] and Dominos to see what was going on. It was a huge scene.” He went on, “We called 911 and tried to help the girls until the ambulance got there.”
The student said before police got to the scene, a female passenger in the vehicle that hit Gattilia and her friend tried to take responsibility for the incident.
“The girlfriend of the driver told him to get out of the car to make it seem like she was driving. He did it and when the cops came she was behind the wheel,” the source said. He said a second passenger was yelling at the crowd which gathered around the accident scene and was “freaking out.”
The witness also stated the driver appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The student indicated that the female attempted to leave the scene.
“Also, she was trying to go, but a bunch of college students and people stood in front of the truck to stop them.”
KPD officers and an ambulance responded to the scene within minutes. The student said he was interviewed by a KPD officer. He noted after police interviewed the witnesses, they arrested Daniels, the driver.
“In the end, the police took the guy away in handcuffs. They believed what we said,” the student said.
The two seniors received minor injuries and were not taken to the hospital. The students were treated at the ambulance.
“We are both just sore, we have bruises from the accident,” the senior said.
Still, Gattilia said the incident had a rather emotional impact on her.
“It all seems like a blur now. It was very scary and shocking,” Gattilia stated. She went on to say she no longer felt safe as a pedestrian in Keene.
“Not only at night, during the day I have been crossing [the road] around campus and people haven’t stopped. When it happened [the accident], I couldn’t believe it. It is a little nerve racking.” The student witness said, “It’s dangerous to cross on Main Street now. All the kids don’t even pay attention when they walk around, so it will probably happen again.”
Karina Barriga Albring can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org