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BU Student Still in Coma After Accident Outside Kappa Sig Party

By Carina Fung

A Boston University sophomore remains hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital four weeks after being struck and thrown 107 feet by a speeding car as she left a Kappa Sigma party.

Winse Chan, 19, was hit at 1:50 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 as she crossed Memorial Drive. She was struck at the 360 block of Memorial Drive, near Theta Delta Chi. Kurnia Hermawan, another BU student, was the driver of the car.

Chan is in the intensive care unit and is presently listed in fair condition. Chan is technically in a coma, although she goes in and out of the coma frequently, said Lisa A. Higbee, one of Chan's roommate's.

Chan did not drink at party

Chan's roommates and parents have been visiting her frequently and have spoken to her, Higbee said. Chan should be moved to a general floor very soon, Higbee said.

Chan definitely did not drink alcohol at the Kappa Sigma party, Higbee said. She said that Chan may have taken a sip or two but that she definitely was not intoxicated. If Chan had had a lot to drink, she probably would have been sick.

Higbee said that Hermawan was not drunk that night. According to the Massachusetts State Police, Hermawan was not under the influence on the night of the accident.

Chan's parents have not pressed charges against Hermawan because they are currently "just interested in Winse getting better," Higbee said. "They don't have the energy" to press charges right now, she said. Chan's father has returned home to Ohio, but her mother is still in Boston.

On the night of the accident, two of Chan's four roommates were with her at the party. Her other two roommates did not learn of the accident until half an hour after it occurred.

Investigation unlikely

Jennifer Booth, news editor of the BU Daily Free Press, said that unless Chan's medical report states that her blood-alcohol level was above normal on the night of the party, no investigation of any sort would occur.

Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean and adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, said that he has "heard literally zero from any source" about the accident.

Dorow also said that he does not "anticipate any formal action to be taken" against Kappa Sigma unless it is established that "the student was furnished with alcohol by the fraternity." Chan is under the legal drinking age.

In general, there is an increased concern over students' alcohol consumption, Dorow said.

Driver charged with negligence

Hermawan was charged with speeding and driving to endanger, according to state police.

Hermawan's case will be heard in the Cambridge District Court, though the date of the hearing has not been set, said Capt. Robert Bird of the Massachusetts State Police.

Bird also said that police did not have evidence that Chan had consumed any alcohol before the accident.

Hermawan refused to comment. The president of Kappa Sigma could not be reached.