The pedestrian who plummeted off a bridge after an out-of-control car hit him yesterday in West Philadelphia died last night from his injuries, police said. The 27-year-old victim was a new graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School who just moved to Philadelphia last weekend.
Zachary Woods, of Monroe, N.Y., arrived in Philadelphia Sunday to start studying international trade and development in Wharton's Lauder Program, according to his Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. According to LinkedIn, Woods worked as an international fundraiser, raising over $1 billion for real estate development projects in New York City. He also worked extensively in China and has lived in Shanghai, according to LinkedIn and Facebook.
The freak accident happened about 10 a.m. yesterday on Walnut Street at 30th. A 69-year-old man driving a Toyota Camry west on Walnut and a 43-year-old man driving a Mercury Montego south on 30th collided, sending the Montego spinning out of control - and toward the pedestrian walking on the overpass' sidewalk nearby. The pedestrian tried to leap out of the way and grabbed onto a traffic light, according to University of Pennsylvania public-safety officials, who helped investigate. But the car hit the pole, sending both pedestrian and pole plunging 38 feet to the concrete roadway below.
The pedestrian died at 10 p.m. last night at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, police spokeswoman Officer Tanya Little said this morning. The Montego's driver remains in extremely critical condition at HUP with head and leg injuries and other trauma. The Toyota's driver was treated for unspecified injuries at HUP.
Maureen Rush, Penn's public safety vice president, said yesterday that the Montego's driver was speeding and ran a red light, although Philadelphia police investigators haven't yet said what caused the accident. Charges have not been filed.
The Wharton School tweeted this morning: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our students, and pause to express our condolences to his family and friends."
Penn released this statement this afternoon: "The entire Penn community is deeply saddened by Zachary Woods' tragic death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."