Kristen Cameron, an assistant coach for the Mercyhurst women’s hockey team, remains at Hamot Medical Center after a hit-and-run accident Sunday evening left her with serious injuries.
The accident occurred at 7 p.m. on Route 19 south of Interstate 90 in Summit Township.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, Allen Francis Peters, 49, struck Cameron while she was riding her bicycle. Police said that Peters pulled over after the accident, checked the damage to his vehicle and fled the scene.
Shortly after, police reported, a witness followed him to his home in Waterford Township and reported his location. He was later charged with 14 violations ranging from aggravated assault while driving under the influence to driving without an inspection sticker, police said.
Cameron, a responsible athlete, was wearing a bike helmet at the time of the crash. Peters was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.
A second year graduate student in the Organizational Leadership program at Mercyhurst, Cameron, 25, is a graduate assistant in the college’s anthropology department. She is a native of Prince Edward Island, Canada. She volunteered as the assistant hockey coach.
Head Coach Michael Sisti sat the team down together Monday to break the news.
Since then, the team has not had any official practices. The women have been running their own practices and working off the ice as well, Sisti said.
Cameron’s accident has come at a crucial time for the team. Mercyhurst will be hosting the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four in March and the team has a great shot at winning the national title at home.
Since the accident, the team’s focus has shifted from becoming champions to championing for Cameron to get back on her feet as soon as possible.
Sisti made it clear Tuesday that Cameron’s full recovery is both his and the team’s number one priority.
Cameron is “such a great person,” Sisti said during a telephone interview. There are a lot of people pulling for her, praying and just hoping for the best, he said.
The ’Hurst women’s hockey team was recognized nationally when the women played in the Frozen Four last spring and Cameron was very influential in making that happen, Sisti said.
“The women are sad and shaken by what has happened and they realize Cameron’s recovery is going to take time,” Sisti said.
People from all over are responding to news of Cameron’s accident, which was reported throughout collegiate hockey circles and publications. Sisti said he has received many phone calls, e-mails and text messages not only from members of the local and Mercyhurst communities, but from across the U.S. and Canada as well.
“Kristen is a huge part of what we do here. It’s unfortunate that she was trying to be athletic and healthy and this had to happen,” said Sisti.