Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Dean of Student Life Myrt Westphal has been in close contact with Din’s family. She told the Gazette that “there has been no change since the beginning… there is some swelling in her brain, she is unconscious, but at this point that is good because it allows her body to rest.” Westphal continued, “she’s young, she’s a fighter… she’s very physically fit. These are all good things moving forward.”
Visitation is still restricted to immediate family members, reported Westphal, but “her family has been grateful for all the letters, the cards, and the well-wishes… they are staying in College-owned housing at Strath Haven, and have been very appreciative of that space.” If you wish to send Mairin’s family cards, please deliver them to Rachel Head in the Dean’s Office.
In addition to emotional support, the Swarthmore community has been attempting to improve the safety of the intersection where the accident occurred. Susan Smythe, ADA Program Manager in Facilities and Vice-President of the Swarthmore Borough Council, wrote in an e-mail that “Yale is a State Road, and as such, the borough has no jurisdiction – but the borough does have a new Traffic Advisory committee, and they have taken up the issue, and will pursue it further… the Borough is taking steps to install a middle-of-the-road traffic warning sign, similar to the one at Yale and Rutgers.”
As to why such steps had not been taken before, Smythe explained that “The state did do a traffic study a number of years ago, and the usage results then did not warrant a stop sign or light… the borough ran their accident statistics from 2002 and there has only been one accident at that intersection since that time–which of course doesn’t diminish the tragedy of this one in any way.”
Jaymes Fairfax-Colombo ’10, on the cross country team with Mairin, had initially started a petition to put a stop sign at the intersection, but upon looking at the statistics Smythe mentioned, he says, “[they] don’t seem to back up a petition for a measures to stop the flow of traffic… I plan to attend the town council meeting on Monday to bring the issue up there and see what can be done to make the intersection more salient to both cars and pedestrians.”
Smythe encourged anyone with thoughts or concerns to “come to a council meeting… or be in touch with any council member.“
Mairin Din is from Irvington, New York, and that community has also rallied around her and her family in support. According to the town website, “the entire community is invited to attend a ‘Walk for Mairin’ on Friday, October 3 at 7:15 PM at the Peter K. Oley track at the Irvington High School campus.”
A fund for donations to help defray Mairin’s medical costs has also been set up in Irvington, and information about that can be found here.
The Gazette will continue to cover this story as events develop, and wishes Mairin, her family, and friends the best in this difficult time.