A vehicle hit five cars and damaged the electrical system in JMU’s D3 parking lot outside of the Festival Conference & Student Center on Thursday night, according to JMU PD Chief Anthony Matos. There were no injuries, he said. 

Matos said he believes the driver, who was arrested at the scene, wasn’t a student.  He wasn’t able to identify the driver but said JMU PD didn’t find a JACard on the scene. Matos also said as of now, JMU PD believes the driver was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, although that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Students on the scene — although none said they actually witnessed the accident — said the driver struck an electric pole, then reversed around a curve and over a curb, hitting four cars in a row. Matos gave that same description but said JMU PD is still piecing together the exact sequence of events. Sometime during the accident, another car closer to the electric pole was hit by the driver as well.

Matos didn’t have an estimate on expenses incurred by the damage but said the damage to multiple cars looked significant.

When the driver hit the electric pole, the cement block attached to the electric pole shifted half an inch to an inch, Matos said, knocking out part of the parking lot’s electricity, with several lights out.

“I’m worried about the electrical system,” Matos said. “Several overhead lighting system has been damaged.”

Matos said JMU facilities management and an electrician will assess remaining damage in the morning. He said JMU PD has contacted owners of all the damaged vehicles.


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