NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Video evidence of a tragic car accident involving a 21-year-old student pedestrian and a Rutgers police cruiser shows that the officer behind the wheel was not breaking the speed limit prior to the accident.
The video obtained by NewBrunswickToday.com shows that the vehicle was accelerating and had covered approximately 50 feet in 1.73 seconds, before striking Ryan Sikder, of Wayne, NJ.
The speed limit on College Avenue is 25 miles per hour. The police car was traveling just under 20 miles per hour as it drove down the city street past a heavily-utilized bus stop.
A New Brunswick Police Department investigation of the incident resulted in no summonses being issued, but assigned blame for the accident entirely to Sikder.
Yesterday we reported that Anthony Timbol Jr., a 14-year veteran of the Rutgers Police Department, was the man driving the 2009 Crown Victoria that severely fractured Sikder's leg.
A University spokesman said there the school's police department is "conducting a review" of the incident, which occurred on September 19.
Officer Timbol declined to comment on the matter.
The video, released earlier today by the New Brunswick Police Department, was taken from a security camera in a university parking lot known best for being home to the area's famous food trucks.
In rush hour traffic, two buses are shown waiting to make left turns from College Avenue onto Hamilton Street. The driver of the second bus, which was twice as long as the first, let Sikder cut in front of him, the injured student said.
Just then, the RUPD vehicle is seen passing the bus on the right to avoid the traffic backup in the left-turn-only lane.
The Rutgers police vehicle struck Sikder, who was jogging across the street to limit the amount of time he delayed the bus, and carried him about 10 feet. The incident occurred approximately 120 feet south of the nearest crosswalk.
Sikder's family is currently battling with the University's administration to get back his tuition for the semester, ever since a doctor ordered he can't attend classes this fall, he told us yesterday.
"At first it seemed like they were going to be really helpful, but then when the doctor said that I can't go back this semester, they've been kind of making it difficult," Sikder said yesterday in a phone interview.
"I'm trying to withdraw this semester. They are letting me withdraw, but they are taking 40% of the tuition that I paid this semester."
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.