PHILADELPHIA, PA — Approximately two dozen students were seriously injured Monday when a wrong-way walker on Locust Walk collided with oncoming foot traffic, starting a multi-pedestrian pileup that closed down the pathway for several hours.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene at approximately 11:55 AM. Witnesses report that a British student, apparently still unaccustomed to American right-side walking norms, strode head-on into a dense procession of students during Locust Walk’s busy 11:50 AM class changeover period. The initial impact started a chain reaction of collisions, resulting in injuries of a wide range of severity.
“It was like it happened in slow motion,” said College junior Andrea Lieberthal, who observed the accident while SABSing in front of Frontera. “Everyone had their heads down texting, which really exacerbated the problem.”
The wrong-way walker has been identified as Nigel Bickford III, a Wharton Sophomore. Upon turning left onto Locust after leaving Castle — his reported place of residence —, Bickford mindlessly began walking in the improper direction of travel. He initially collided with an unidentified blonde female, starting the lengthy pileup.
Bickford is a 2016 graduate of Eton College. Sources who know him from his prep days indicate that he is prone to reckless automotive behavior, often “driving at 90 down those country lanes.”
MERT responded to the scene, but upon learning that none of the involved parties were intoxicated, stated that it was unqualified to provide assistance.
Penn police have not yet state what — if any — charges will be brought against Bickford. Legal experts, however, tell The Punch Bowl that, in light of precedent from similar cases in recent years, criminal leniency is expected.