Victims hit by van on Lee campus recovering Sunday; driver jaile - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Victims hit by van on Lee campus recovering Sunday; driver jailed

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Shashank Shrestha Shashank Shrestha
Danielle Carter Danielle Carter

CLEVELAND, TN. (WRCB)  --  A Lee University student and former student are in the hospital after a van hit them while walking on campus.  The driver is behind bars, charged with driving on a suspended license.

The victims are expected to recover.  Friends and university officials say the students are alert Sunday.

Danielle Carter is a Junior from Virginia.  Her friend, Shashank Shrestha, IS an international student from Nepal.  The two were crossing Parker Street around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night when it happened.

"The first thing everyone thinks is let's prayer," says Lee University student, Zach Cesani. 

Students are in shocK, after what happened on their quiet campus. 

"I was walking and I heard a big smack," says freshman, Chris Dotson.  "A few minutes later I saw a bunch of cop cars fly by." 

Dotson and Cesani don't know Danielle Carter and recent graduate Shashank Shrestha, but when an accident this serious happenS at a small school, everyone feels it.   

A bunch of people got together to pray and sing worship songs last night," says Dotson.  "We just wanted to lift their names up to the Lord." 

It happened while Carter and Shrestha were crossing Parker Street.  The speed limit is 30 miles per hour.  They were struck by a white van, police haven't said how fast it was going.  Both suffered head injuries.  Shrestha also suffered a broken pelvis.

"Investigators are gathering all the information they can to determine what happened," says Officer, Evie West, with the Cleveland Police Department.

Police arrested 48- year-old, Thomas Creek, at the scene for driving on a suspended license.  More charges against Creek are pending.

Carter and Shrestha were not using a crosswalk, but police say speeding on Parker Street is a problem. 

"There is a lot of speeding on this road," says West.  "It is dangerous, because we do have a students pedestrians."

The city of Cleveland and Lee University added speed bumps several blocks away at Parker and 15th Street to slow drivers down.  Zach Cesani just moved into his dorm near the accident scene, he says he already know to pay extra attention for speeding cars.

"Students walk back and forth," he says.  "They don't think about it, they just walk across."

Channel 3 also spoke with, Walt Mauldin, Lee University's Vice President of Administration.  Mauldin was with Carter and Shrestha at Erlanger until early Sunday morning.

Mauldin says he will be communicating with city officials for recommendations on added safety measures.

Carter's family members are by her side at Erlanger Sunday night.  Shashank Shrestha's aunt and uncle are traveling to the Tennessee Valley from Washington D.C.

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