It would be fair to say that a person walking down the street on a weekday morning is not expecting his life to change in a flash. But that’s just what happened for one University of Pennsylvania graduate student who was walking down Philadelphia’s Walnut Street earlier this week.

The man had just moved to Pennsylvania to attend school. He was on the elevated street when a collision between two vehicles took place near him. After it was hit, one of the vehicles jumped onto the sidewalk, struck a light pole, a retaining wall and the pedestrian. The force of the crash sent the 27-year-old man hurtling almost 40 feet to the pavement below. After being taken to a nearby hospital, the man died about 12 hours after the accident.

It is not a stretch to say that it is likely that the man had many things ahead of him to accomplish in his life. He had moved recently from New York, but before that had been working in China, developing solutions to provide better water treatment to rural areas.

It seems likely that the man’s family might pursue action against one or more of the participants in the car accident. Details are still sketchy, but police said one of the vehicles involved had been speeding down the street when it was involved in the intersection collision. The driver of that vehicle was also injured in the crash and was reported to be in critical condition at the same hospital the pedestrian had been taken to.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Penn student thrown from overpass in crash dies,” Aubrey Whelan and Vernon Clark, May 7, 2014