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Intersection Was ‘Pitch Dark’ Minutes before ISU Student Struck, Witness Says

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AMES, Iowa -- What was once just a busy crosswalk navigating students and faculty at Iowa State University has turned into a sobering memorial.

Authorities are still investigating an early Monday hit-and-run that killed 18-year-old EmmaLee Jacobs, an Iowa State University student. Police say she suffered injures consistent with being struck by a car at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Ash Avenue. She died at a local hospital.

“We really believe that at some point someone saw something and they will come forward and help us with the investigation,” said Ames police Commander Jason Tuttle.

Police say the intersection has a reputation for complaints.

“I would say that four to five block stretch is the main area in town where get complaints about vehicle pedestrian encounters,” Tuttle said.

Collin Still, a sophomore at Iowa State, crosses the intersection every day. He said he was there just a few minutes before Jacobs was struck.

“I had a final at 7:30 a.m. and crossed the intersection at 6:40 a.m., so about 20 minutes earlier. As I left, it was pitch dark, and you could hardly see anything and it was pouring rain,” Still said.

Monday morning's weather conditions are making it difficult for police to study surveillance video.

“Our video footage … it is still dark out. There are street lights in the area but you get reflections off the street lights that make everything really blurry,” Tuttle said.

Ames police are encouraging everyone for information, from possible witnesses to body shops, auto repair shops and insurance agencies. Police say they want businesses to be on the alert for a vehicle coming in for repairs or for insurance claims.

A simple phrase written in chalk at the foot of a memorial says, "Once a Cyclone, always a Cyclone." The community is also showing its support by using #CPU Strong on social media.

The Jacobs family will greet friends between 4-8 p.m. Friday, Dec.18, at the Center Point United Methodist Church located at 815 Summit St. in Center Point.

EmmaLee's service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Center-Point Urbana High School.

Police are asking the public to come forward with any information by calling the Ames Police Department at 515-239-5133 or the anonymous tip line at 515-239-5533.