Woman Charged in Hit-and-Run that Injured SLU Student


Photo Courtesy of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept. and Family of Stephanie Grant.

Stephanie Grant, a 20-year-old junior studying Biomedical engineering at SLU, was walking across the street near Marchetti Towers on Thursday, Sept. 5 when a car driving erratically ran through a red light, hitting Grant. The driver fled the scene immediately afterwards. Four day later, the driver was identified as 21-year-old Aldina Sakanovic, per the St. Louis Police Department. 


Grant told the University News that she broke her tibia and fibula, a few bones in her back, her nose and eye socket. “While these were significant injuries, it could have been far worse and I am so grateful that all I have is some broken bones,” she said. 


When the accident happened, Grant said she was “simply walking back to [her] apartment and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”


Sakanovic was charged with second degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting arrest and two counts of armed criminal action, KMOV4 reports.


St. Louis Police say that the silver Nissan Pathfinder Sakanovic was driving was stolen that day and spotted earlier near Grand and Cherokee. Officers had started to follow the car but stopped once they saw how erratically she was driving. 


STLPD says that officers were not in pursuit of the car when the accident occurred.


Colin Thierry, a senior at SLU, was walking ten feet ahead of Grant when he heard the noise of an “engine roaring” behind him. Thierry turned around just in time to see the car hit Grant and speed away. 


Thierry, along with five or six other people who witnessed the accident, stood in shock for a few moments. “It didn’t feel like it was real,” Thierry said, “it was pretty horrifying to see, honestly.”


After seeing the incident, Thierry still feels safe crossing the street on campus because “you can’t really control someone acting that unreasonably.” However, he urges other students to always “look both ways, even when you have the right-of-way.”


Grant also warns SLU students of the dangers that she experienced first-hand. “We all know that Grand is not the safest street, and it sucks that it took someone getting seriously injured to draw attention to the matter,” she said. 


“I hope that SLU can use this as an opportunity to prioritize student safety and figure out a way to keep this from happening to anyone else,” Grant states.


In the summer of 2018, SLU made sweeping changes to the crosswalk on Grand and West Pine. It provided students with a wider median that can safely accommodate pedestrians, additional traffic signals and dividers to separate traffic from the median. With safety improvements to this busy crosswalk on campus, the accident raises questions of new safety plans for the crosswalk between Grand and Laclede. 


Although, DPS Assistant Vice President James E. Moran states that because the incident was unusual, “there are no specific plans in place to share at this time.” 


Moran says they will “continue to explore ways to enhance pedestrian safety at SLU” and have reached out to STLPD to figure out any additional steps that could be taken to slow traffic along Grand. 


Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Development, in a statement to SLU, said “Stephanie is part of our larger SLU family. All of us are keeping her, her family and her friends in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.” 


In an interview with News 4, Grant’s father states that “we are very appreciative to everyone for their prayers. They are working. Stephanie has made a lot of progress. After several days of trying she was able to sit up at the side of her bed. Thanks to the community for all of the support.”


Elaine Grant Farwell, Grant’s aunt, states that her niece has a “bright future ahead of her” in her GoFundMe. Farwell encourages people to donate to help with the emergency medical funds her family is paying. Consider helping a member of the Billiken family by donating to the GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/emergency-fund-for-stephanie-grant.

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