Hofstra University’s main unispan, connecting the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library to the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center, was hit by a dumpster on the top of a garbage truck on Friday, Feb. 16. One pane of glass was broken on the unispan but no injuries were reported.
The garbage truck, belonging to the Town of Hempstead, was traveling eastbound in the far-right lane at 8:12 a.m. when the dumpster collided with the bottom of the unispan, which is 14 feet 2 inches in height. Though the one pane of glass was cracked, the road remained clear of debris and traffic continued to flow.
Sarah Kocher, a junior political science and journalism double major, was working as a student aide at the front desk of the Axinn Library at the time of the incident. “My supervisor and I heard a loud boom, [we] thought it was thunder,” Kocher said. “Then maybe 20 minutes later Public Safety said they were shutting down the unispan.”
Assistant Vice President of University Relations Karla Schuster said that the unispan was shut down around 8:30 a.m. as a precaution so that structural engineers could evaluate any damage. Once the engineers finished their assessment around 11 a.m., the unispan was reopened for student use.
According to Robert McDonald, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety, responders to the scene included Public Safety, Hempstead Police Department, Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County EMS and the Uniondale Fire Department. Public Safety officers redirected the flow of student traffic to the California Ave. crosswalk and assisted students in crossing Hempstead Turnpike.
Students were notified of the closing and reopening of the unispan via the Campus Alert Notification Network. The unispan has been open since that notification and the pane of glass is in the process of being replaced.