UMass Dartmouth to make changes to road where student was killed

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WLNE) — Following the death of a student last week, who was hit by a car on campus at UMass Dartmouth, the university’s chancellor said they will be making updates to Ring Road, where the crash happened.

Frankie Petillo Jr., 19, who was a freshman, was killed crossing the road on campus at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

In the statement, Chancellor Mark Fuller said the university discussed short-term and long-term actions to improve safety on the roadways on campus.

Fuller said the facilities team, student affairs, and public safety group will have a list of recommendations for changes by the end of the week.

The chancellor also has requested a number of changes are done immediately, including:

  • Installing portable speed bumps to slow the traffic on the more densely populated side of Ring Road.
  • Installing portable signs that show drivers the speed at which they are traveling, until we can install permanent, speed-detecting speed limit signs around Ring Road
  • Stationing additional patrol cars at key points along Ring Road to control traffic speed through the end of this academic year. We will ticket.

These changes come after an outroar from students in recent days since the passing of Petillo.

Students on campus expressed their concerns about the lack of safety and sidewalks, paired with the lack of resources to curb speeding. Students created a petition calling for more sidewalks, speed monitors, and crosswalks, which has reached nearly 5,000 signatures as of Monday morning.

UMass Dartmouth will hold a candlelight vigil for Petillo, as well as another student, Alexandra Landry, who also passed away last week in a separate incident. That vigil is set for 8 p.m. Monday at the Quad on campus.

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