Norwich University student Elizabeth Gemmiti was the victim of a serious accident Saturday morning, but her act of bravery kept her friend out of harm's way.
"She actually pushed her roommate out of the way of the vehicle," said Northfield Police Officer Daniel Withrow.
Gemmiti was walking home with her roommate just after 2 a.m. when Northfield Police say she was hit by a car near Village Pizza. "Two Norwich students were heading south on Route 12 in the Village of Northfield. The vehicle was traveling north when the crash occurred involving one of the students," Officer Withrow said.
Gemmiti sustained significant trauma. The Norwich University junior is a well-known member of the women's hockey team. Students say they are saddened by the accident. "I know a lot of the girls on the hockey team and it sucks, it really does is the best way to put it. You know it's really unfortunate for the school, for the team, for everyone as a whole," said Ian McAdorey, a Norwich student.
"It happens from time to time but you just don't want it to happen in your community, in your neighborhood," said Grant Yurosko, a Norwich first year student.
Police say the driver was 23-year-old James Lott. He has been charged with DUI and negligent operation of a vehicle. Lott lives in California, but is a Northfield native and was home visiting family. The night of the accident police say he showed signs of intoxication and was uncooperative. "Mr. Lott refused to give a sample of his breath. A warrant was issued for a sample of his blood and he was taken to Central Vermont Hospital for that," Officer Withrow said. Police are now awaiting test results.
As for Elizabeth Gemmiti, officials say she is in good spirits. Norwich University President Richard Schneider visited her in the hospital and released a statement:
"The entire Norwich University community is standing by Liz Gemmiti and her family and friends. Faculty, staff, students, coaches and teammates all support Liz as she works toward a full recovery from the injuries sustained in this incident."
Gemmiti is listed in stable condition at Fletcher Allen Healthcare. The Vermont State Police are assisting in this case to find out exactly how the accident happened.
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