By Norman Peckham
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Four UA freshmen were injured Monday afternoon after the jeep they were riding in overturned on Interstate 10, south of Phoenix.
The students, who were returning to the University of Arizona after spending the weekend in Phoenix, were: Bryan Black, an undeclared freshman, Daniel Finnegan, an accounting freshman, Daniel Mercer, an undeclared freshman and Stephen West, an accounting freshman. All the students, except for West, are members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
Around 1:15 p.m., the Jeep Wrangler the students were riding in overturned after West swerved to avoid a car that was coming onto the I-10 freeway median near Riggs Road, said Officer A.M. Fitzgerald of the Department of Public Safety.
She said all the students were ejected from the jeep after it rolled about 300 feet off the freeway.
The students were then airlifted to Phoenix-area hospitals from the scene of the accident, said DPS Sgt. Greg Girad.
Black, who suffered head injuries, is currently in a coma and is listed in stable condition at Maricopa County Hospital, said Brian DelGhiaccio, president of Phi Gamma Delta.
"Right now, he's in a deep coma," DelGhiaccio said. "They don't know if there's any brain damage or spinal damage. It's a situation where we're just sitting around and waiting." DelGhiaccio said that Black's condition has been on the minds of fraternity members.
"It's been really tough for all of us," DelGhiaccio said. "We just want to support (Black's) family and put our prayers together for him."
Susan Black, Bryan's mother, said her son was going to be transferred yesterday to Barrow's Neurological Center at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. That center specializes in the treatment of head injuries.
"Bryan is making progress," she said. "We have real hope he's gonna recover."
Finnegan was taken to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital for a broken pelvis, DelGhiaccio said.
In a phone interview from his hospital room, Finnegan said he was doing "good" and he expected to get out of the hospital in about one week.
He said he will be in a wheelchair for about six weeks until his pelvis heals.
Mercer, who suffered cuts on his arms, was treated at a Phoenix-area hospital and has since been released, DelGhiaccio said.
Information on West's condition was not available yesterday. Read Next Article