Shelby Township sophomore Anthony Cavataio remains in critical condition in an intensive care unit after sustaining several injuries when he was hit by a car at the corner of Mission Street and Broomfield Road last Wednesday.
Heading toward campus, Cavataio was struck by an oncoming car at 1:30 a.m. Police said the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated but was not charged with causing Cavataio’s injuries.
“The report lists three witnesses and the two (Mount Pleasant Police) officers who were there and witnessed the incident,” said Mount Pleasant Police Public Information Officer Jeff Thompson. “All of the witnesses and the driver said that the vehicle had a green light to proceed and that the pedestrian ignored not only the red cross walk light, but the recommendations of his friends to not cross.”
Thompson said the driver had the right of way.
Cavataio’s brother, Vincent, said he spoke with MPPD Officer Kipp Moe about the driver and the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Vincent, a Shelby Township graduate student and former Student Government Association president, said Anthony is doing better but still faces a long road ahead of him. A ventilator was removed on Monday, and several surgeries needed for Cavataio’s immediate survival were successful.
He still faces facial reconstructive surgery, Vincent said, and has several broken bones.
“The next 24 hours off the ventilator are crucial to him getting rest,” Vincent said. “They’ve completed many of the surgeries needed to recover, but he will need more procedures. When they took the ventilator out and my parents could talk to him, they were so happy.”
Anthony is a member of Phi Kappa Tau, Leadership Safari and is a Leadership Advancement Scholar.
“It’s a better day today,” Cavataio’s mother, Elaina, said moments after the ventilator was removed. “We got to see our son smile back at us and give us a thumbs up. It’s been such a roller coaster. He can breathe easier off the ventilator, and so can we. We’ll get him through this.”
When Elaina and Cavataio’s father heard of the accident, they rushed from Shelby Township to Saginaw, beating the helicopter that airlifted their son to the ICU.
Vincent was in Mount Pleasant at the time of the accident and stayed by his brother’s side throughout his treatment at McLaren Central Michigan, 1221 South Drive, and again at St. Mary’s of Michigan in Saginaw.
“I was there in the ER talking with him,” Vincent said. “He was really groggy and really scared.”
Cavataio’s parents said they were proud of their older son for being there for his brother in their absence.
“We just wanted to get there,” Elaina said. “We’re just so thankful his brother was there talking to him.”
Elaina expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support on social media and through text messages.
Letters of support have been collected at the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house since Sunday. The hashtag “#PrayersForAnthony” is also being used to show support for Cavataio on Twitter.
“The positivity just keeps coming,” Elaina said. “That’s what has gotten us through this. We don’t even have the words to express the gratitude.”
His family said Cavataio still faces a long recovery. He will remain in the ICU for the time being and still faces rehabilitation and several surgeries.
“He will need post-care for his legs and face,” Elaina said. “We’re just going to take it one day at a time.”