A pedestrian was severely injured on the 600 block of University Avenue after getting hit by a car early Sunday morning.
According to a Madison Police Department statement, the 20-year-old victim was crossing the street with his friends when a car struck him around 2 a.m. The statement said the front of the car most likely has visible damage after the accident.
The victim suffered “several significant injuries” and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the statement.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the suspect has not been identified, but the MPD is continuing to search for the driver and the car.
He said crashes like this often happen after the bars close. He added crashes like this one happen around every year and a half.
“It is very often young individuals enjoying Madison nightlife,” Resnick said.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he believes given the time of the crash, it is highly likely alcohol was involved in the case of either the suspect and/or the victim.
He said crashes between vehicles and pedestrians have caused fatalities in the area in the past.
“Unfortunately this is not the first time that pedestrian vehicle incidents have occurred in this area,” Verveer said.
Verveer said the crash was “very unfortunate” and that he is concerned because of the unknown medical condition of the victim.
Although it is unknown who had the right-of-way in the crash, the driver is in the wrong, Verveer said. He said the driver broke several laws by not immediately stopping to help the victim and by not reporting the accident to the police.
“Even if [the] victim did not have the right-of-way while crossing, [it] certainly does not excuse the responsibility of the driver to make every effort to avoid [the] crash, and more over stop and render aid,” Verveer said.
He added it is unlikely that the driver was unaware of what happened.
The crash area is significantly covered by city security cameras, Verveer said.
“If the suspect has not been identified yet, I’m optimistic that it’s only a matter of time that the suspect will be identified between witnesses and availability of video,” Verveer said.
Madison has worked to make the stretch of University Avenue where the crash occurred safer by adding traffic signals and crosswalks at every intersection, Verveer said.
The city has also recently installed several new LED streetlights in this area in response to public safety concerns, he said.
Resnick said one possible solution for car accidents that involve pedestrians is to add pedestrian overpasses. The university already has a few overpasses around Humanities and Vilas, which help students avoid the heavy vehicle traffic around the academic buildings.
Madison and UW have discussed the possibilities of adding more overpasses, Resnick said. Overpasses have received mixed reactions because students may not necessarily use them if they are available, he said.
“I can’t say the overpass would have prevented the accident,” Resnick said.