Car hits 2 Macalester students; 1 critically hurt

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • Star Tribune
  • May 29, 2014 - 9:34 PM

One of two Macalester College students hit by a car in a crosswalk on the edge of campus suffered severe head injuries and remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon in critical condition, authorities said.

Sowinta Kay, 20, and Yacine Diouf, 19, were walking east shortly before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday across Snelling Avenue at Lincoln Avenue when a car passing another vehicle hit them, according to St. Paul police.

Both were taken to Regions Hospital, where Kay was listed in critical condition and Diouf was in good condition Thursday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said.

The students are Davis United World College Scholars, and had just completed their first year at Macalester, said college spokeswoman Barbara Laskin. Kay is from Cambodia, and Diouf is from Senegal.

Dr. Timothy Wood, a physician from Minneapolis, was in a car nearby at the time of the accident and saw the women get hit. He tended to Kay until emergency medical personnel arrived.

Wood said the women “jumped out” from the curb, prompting an SUV in the right lane of southbound Snelling to slam on the brakes. Wood, behind the SUV, also stopped suddenly.

However, Wood continued, a car to the left and slightly behind the SUV was picking up speed and hit Kay and Diouf.

Wood said the SUV shielded the driver of the passing car from seeing the women in the crosswalk, which is marked with wide white stripes. Traffic on Snelling is required to stop when someone is in the crosswalk, but there is no traffic signal or stop sign.

“He kept going through the intersection and hit [Kay] pretty hard,” Wood said.

Wood pulled over and raced to Kay’s side, assessing her vital signs and finding a severe wound on the back of her head. A fire truck arrived and created a barricaded zone with other vehicles while Wood stayed with Kay.

“She was unconscious from the first time I saw her,” he said. “She went flying and struck her head right on the concrete.”

Kay regained consciousness a few minutes later and was put in an ambulance, the doctor said.

Diouf, a half-stride behind Kay, took a more glancing blow and was left “sitting in the street, a little dazed,” Wood added.

The driver who hit the women, a 35-year-old man, remained at the scene. A preliminary breath test on-site determined he had not been drinking.

“He was pretty rattled,” Wood said. “It happened so quickly. You could see the look on his face, sitting on the curb. You could tell he was very remorseful.”


Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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