2 UNC students on the mend after being struck by van

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Emma Caponigro, 19, and Alexandra Stanley, 21 were struck in a crosswalk Tuesday.

Two UNC students are recovering after being hit Tuesday afternoon while in a crosswalk in Chapel Hill.

It happened shortly before 3:30 p.m. Police said a vehicle struck the students in the crosswalk on West Rosemary Street in front of Shortbread Lofts.

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Emma Caponigro, 18, and Alexandra Stanley, 21, were rushed to UNC Hospital Emergency Room with serious injuries.

Megan Harris watched the horrific scene unfold from the gym across the street.

"It was traumatizing. I didn't know what to do. I immediately ran outside and tried to call 911," she said. "They were immediately sobbing and screaming. It was really bad."

Caponigro was upgraded to good condition Wednesday. Stanley is out of the hospital.

Police said the driver, Chad Clark, 40, looked down at something in his van when he hit the students. He was cited with failure to reduce speed and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

ABC11 has learned Clark has been arrested 37 times on a number of charges.

He is due in court in September.

Harris told ABC11 a similar accident happened at the same crosswalk earlier this spring.

"This is the second time somebody's been hit here in the past like month or two," she said.

The brightly-colored crosswalk was installed earlier this year along with several others in downtown Chapel Hill to make pedestrians crossing the street more visible to drivers.

"I feel like this crosswalk is so colorful most people would see it, but I guess not. It is kind of scary," Harris said.

Students said they do not understand why more drivers are not slowing down.

"I just never really know if it's going to be my day. You come, you push the button, and cars just don't stop," said UNC student Jordan Lifer.

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