Calhoun Wolverton will need facial reconstructive surgery, among other procedures, to help him recover

By Joelle Goldstein
April 12, 2021 02:44 PM
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Calhoun Wolverton
Calhoun Wolverton
| Credit: gofundme

A University of Florida student has been hospitalized after he was struck by a car near the Gainesville campus.

Calhoun Wolverton, a 19-year-old sophomore, was put in a medically induced coma and fighting for his life following the collision, according to a GoFundMe page set up on his behalf.

Graham B. Glover, a spokesperson for the Gainesville Police Department, confirms to PEOPLE that the incident occurred early Thursday morning around 12:40 a.m.

Wolverton was crossing the 300 block of Northwest 13th Street, traveling eastbound, when a vehicle hit him outside of the crosswalk, according to Glover.

Wolverton was later rushed to UF Health Shands Hospital, where he was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit and put into a medically induced coma, the GoFundMe stated.

"He will have facial reconstructive surgery on Monday (4/12/21) as well as more CAT scans, MRIs, and other procedures to help restore him to full health," the page states.

At this time, it is unclear how the collision occurred and if the driver will face charges.

Glover confirms that the incident was not a hit-and-run and that police know the identity of the driver, but no charges or citations have been filed.

An investigation is currently underway, according to Glover.

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Wolverton's fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, set up the GoFundMe, which has raised over $47,000, and said the 19-year-old from Tampa was studying finance and accounting at UF.

They also noted that Wolverton was "involved in many things on campus," including the Youth Leadership Conference, student government elections, UF Finance Club, Southwest Recreation Center and Doulos Greek Ministry.

"Please pray for complete and full healing of Calhoun's brain and body, for strength and comfort for his family and friends, and for God to be glorified through the entire tragic experience," the fraternity wrote.

According to UF's student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, there have been growing concerns about pedestrian safety in Gainesville, especially after the death of two UF students in December and January, just a few blocks away from where Wolverton was hit.

The Florida Department of Transportation, the city of Gainesville and UF took steps to prevent similar tragedies from happening again by creating two crosswalks, lowering the speed limit on University Avenue and launching a traffic safety initiative called Gator STEP, the student paper reported.

But after Thursday's collision, Florida Not One More, a student-led organization that advocates for safer roads in Gainesville, said more must be done and addressed the incident on Instagram.

"We should feel safe crossing the street. Support Calhoun Wolverton using the link in our bio. Raise your voice, and fight for change. #FLNotOneMore" the caption reads.

According to The Independent Florida Alligator, the group is also planning to hold a "die-in" protest on April 17 — where students simulate being dead by holding signs or laying on the ground with chalk outlines around their bodies — in hopes to raise more awareness about the issue.

"It's a strong form of protest, but I feel it's gotten to that point," Kailey Kiss, a 21-year-old UF junior who founded Florida Not One More, told the paper. "It shouldn't take another life for action to be taken on this issue."

Those interested in donating to Wolverton's GoFundMe can do so here.