A UCF student experienced a medical issue while driving on Tuesday that ended with the student’s black Honda Accord hitting a light pole — and the UCF community coming to help in a time of need.
UCF Police Department spokeswoman Amanda Sellers confirmed in a Friday email the student was on Gemini Boulevard, making a left turn from Libra Drive when he experienced the medical issue and hit the light pole.
UCFPD Officer Dan Ryley said the Orange County Fire Department was called to the scene, and the individual driving the vehicle was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
“Right now, they are assuming he had a seizure,” Ryley said. “But we do not know for sure.”
Ryley — who has been with UCFPD since 2016 — said the official cause of the accident will be determined through an investigation. Ryley said the airbags in the individual’s vehicle did deploy during the collision.
“The hazards come on as soon as the airbag is deployed,” Ryley said. “The airbag saved his life, probably.”
Witnesses said the driver of the vehicle was going approximately 30 mph before having what looked to be a seizure. They described the vehicle swerving into the light pole, forcing the car to come to a stop, witnesses said.
Sellers said he was transported with non-life threatening injuries.
Jodi Lewis, senior nonprofit management major, said she was in front of the vehicle that ran into the light pole. She said she called 911 as soon as she saw the accident occur.
“I was turning and the light was red,” Lewis said. “He was turning behind me but ran into the pole.”
Information technology junior James Kitchens was at the scene and said he saw the accident happen from the sidewalk while walking to class.
“I saw the destruction of the car,” Kitchens said.
UCFPD is located approximately 0.4 miles away from the accident scene. Kitchens said it felt like UCFPD responded in seconds.
UCF freshman biology major Christopher Hansrote said his instincts kicked in and he ran to the car after watching the accident happen.
“I was really glad his window was open because we would have had to punch the window open to turn the car off,” Hansrote said. “I was able to shift the car in park and turn the car off.”
Hansrote said he reached through the driver’s side window, opened the car door and shifted the car into park — the black Honda Accord was still running and in gear, but he said he was able to turn the ignition off.
“I did not know the guy,” Hansrote said. “But I went into ‘help mode,’ and sometimes you just gotta do, what you gotta do.”
UCFPD said the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.