Delaware News

OWU students hit by police cruisers in separate incidents


A pair of Ohio Wesleyan University students are recovering after being hit by Delaware police cruisers in two separate incidents in the last two weeks.

The officers who were driving the cruisers are being investigated internally, said Delaware Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski.

One of the officers, Mark Jackson, 37, was cited for failing to yield the right of way and paid a $135 fine last week in Delaware Municipal Court.

Jackson struck Caroline Welker, 21, an Ohio Wesleyan junior, Thanksgiving night, Nov. 28.

Welker, a member of the OWU women's basketball team, was treated for a severe concussion at Grady Memorial Hospital and released the next day. Reports said she is recovering at home.

The other incident took place Tuesday night, Dec. 3, at William and Elizabeth streets.

In that accident, a cruiser driven by officer Greg Bates, 30, hit Powell student Rachel Parfenchuk, 22, in a crosswalk, said Cole Hatcher, the university's director of media and community relations. Parfenchuk refused treatment, according to reports.

Welker's father, Rex Welker, said his daughter was a half-block from home when she was struck in the crosswalk at Central Avenue along North Sandusky Street.

"I don't know how she managed not to get any broken bones," he said. "She was very lucky."