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July 9, 2015


envelopeA pedestrian near-miss in Oakland

(Editor’s note: This letter to Police Chief James K. Loftus is printed here at the request of the author.)

Dear Chief Loftus,

I want to inform you of an incident that occurred last Friday (June 19) around 11:30 a.m.

I was crossing Meyran at Fifth. I had the white “cross” signal and started across the street. I was paying attention to traffic, fortunately, because a car making the left turn from Fifth almost hit me. I had to scramble; the driver didn’t seem to notice me at all. I can’t tell you what kind of car it was, or who was driving. I was only looking at the fender that missed me by inches. I looked up, and a University police officer in his car was right there. He yelled out his window to me, “Don’t worry sir, I’ve got him,” as he turned and pulled the car over.

This incident highlights two things:

1. We have to always be aware when walking, even with our fine crosswalk system. I am concerned about students who are looking at their phones and not paying attention to traffic. If I had not been paying attention, and had not had quick reflexes, the car would have hit me.

2. We have an excellent police force at Pitt. We take this for granted.  We shouldn’t. We have a safe campus because of their hard work.

Thanks to you and to the officer. Thanks to all of our officers who make our campus safe.

Charles J. Vukotich Jr.
Senior Project Manager
Project Manager/Co-Investigator
SMART2 Project Director
School Based Research and Practice Network
School of Medicine

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