Friday, February 22, 2008
Police detail hit-and-run that's linked to professor
Tech history professor Peter Wallenstein was charged after a bicyclist was hit by a car.
Virginia Tech police released more details Thursday of an incident that led to a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge against a professor.
Peter Wallenstein was driving a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser north on West Campus Drive about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when he turned right onto Perry Street into the path of a bicyclist, Brian Undercoffer.
Undercoffer, a freshman, hit the rear driver's-side tire of the car, and Wallenstein continued driving, according to a police report of the crash. Undercoffer declined to comment about the incident Thursday, and Wallenstein did not respond to phone calls or an e-mail about it.
Wallenstein was arrested on charges of hit-and-run with property damage, a misdemeanor if the damage is $1,000 or less. Police estimated damage to the car at $100 and damage to the bike of $20.
Both vehicles were estimated to be traveling at 10 mph at the time of the crash, according to the report.
Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said any disciplinary action taken against Wallenstein would be "governed by normal employee privacy practices," and would not be released.
Wallenstein, an award-winning professor and prominent historian, has written several books, including the definitive history of Virginia Tech. He specializes in the history of the South and segregation. His most recent book, published this year, is titled "Higher Education and the Civil Rights Movement."