UPDATE - Man named Jesus Christ struck by car

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- A man named Lord Jesus Christ was crossing the street in Northampton when he was struck by a car driven by a Dalton woman, police said.

The 50-year-old Belchertown man -- whose legal name is Lord Jesus Christ III -- was treated for minor facial injuries at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

Northampton police cited the driver, 20-year-old Brittany Cantarella, for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk after Tuesday's traffic mishap. "It's a civil violation," said Northampton Police Capt. Scott Savino, emphasizing that Cantarella isn't facing criminal charges.

The good news, according to Savino, is that Christ is expected to be OK. "His injuries are not life-threatening," Savino said.

Christ could not be reached for comment Friday.

Brittany Cantarella was on her way home from school in Northampton, where she's taking classes to become a licensed nail technician, when Christ "appeared out of nowhere," according to Brittany's mother, Julie Cantarella. Christ was crossing Main Street near Fitzwilly's Restaurant.

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Authorities say Christ produced a legitimate Massachusetts ID card that confirmed his name was, indeed, similar to that of Jesus Christ -- Christianity's central religious figure and the person whom Christians believe to be the son of God.

Savino, a veteran police officer in the progressive Pioneer Valley city, said he has seen just about everything during his 24-year career. But Tuesday's call was unique. "Oh yes, this is definitely the first time we've had something like this. And we probably won't see something like this again for another 24 years," Savino said.

Julie Cantarella said her daughter only learned the man's identity on Friday, when Brittany received a phone call from her father. "It really upset her," Cantarella said, noting that her daughter burst into tears. "She had no idea who she hit."

She said her daughter, a 2008 graduate of Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire, was shaken by the accident and surprised by the widespread reaction to the story, which was picked up by The Associated Press and popped up on Internet sites and newspaper websites around the nation.

"She's doing good," the mother said of Brittany, who hopes to put the incident behind her.


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