Students and staff members at Central State University are grieving after a student was killed and three others were hurt in a crash Monday, only two months after a fatal crash that impacted the campus as well as Wilberforce University.
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Trayvon Trammer, 20, died of the injuries he suffered when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended on I-675 North, just north of the U.S. 35 interchange, according to Beavercreek police.
Three other CSU students who were in the same vehicle were injured and taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment: Kennise Hicks, 20, Caleb Upton, 18, and Andrew Clark, age unavailable.
Their conditions were not available Tuesday.
The driver of the pickup truck that rear-ended the car, 34-year-old John Tokarz, was taken to Soin Medical Center where he was treated and released.
The crash shut down northbound lanes for much of Monday afternoon.
Police said the at-fault driver is still being determined. Preliminary findings indicate the car with the CSU students was traveling slowly with a spare tire in the right lane when it was struck by the pickup truck.
CareFlight was called to the crash and landed on the highway. Northbound lanes were shut down for several hours while crews worked to investigate and clear the scene.
A statement from CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond was posted to the university’s Facebook page.
Grief counselors were made available to students Monday evening at the University Student Center. Counselors were also on-hand Tuesday, according to Jackson-Hammond’s statement.
“Our collective hearts go out to the families of all of those students, and the University will do whatever it can to assist those affected,” eads Jackson-Hammond’s statement on Facebook. “We ask that you pray for the students and their families … I encourage all of you to be prayerful and safe in your travels.”
Destany Wright, a sophomore at CSU, said she met the male student who died in the crash this year. She said it still feels “unreal,” because she would see him on campus everyday.
“I’m trying to keep myself together. This happened so fast. I want to cry but I’m trying to hold it in,” Wright said.
Wright said CSU students just returned from the holiday break and word about the crash spread quickly on the small campus Monday afternoon.
“Everybody is sad and crying because everybody had relationships with all of them who were in the car,” she said. “Everybody is trying to get themselves together.”
Danielle Begin, a CSU freshman, said she also met those involved in the crash this fall.
“We was all pretty cool, close. Hung out like a lot, like, dang near everyday,” Begin said. “There’s a lot of people that’s sad. In my 8 a.m. class, a boy used it as his current event. The whole class was in a mourning process. Everybody is going through it.”
This is the second fatal crash that has impacted CSU’s campus this year.
In September, an early morning crash on North Bickett Road in Wilberforce took the life of Alexandria Austin, a Wilberforce University student, and critically injured the driver, Shala Sylvaster, an 18-year-old CSU student. Two other Wilberforce students were hospitalized for weeks after suffering critical injuries in the crash.
Sylvaster remained in critical condition last month when she was transported to a hospital closer to her hometown in Michigan.
Updates on her condition and the others who survived the crash were not immediately available.
Danielle Begin agreed that it’s been a tough year for CSU students.
“It’s overwhelming. Things just keep happening too frequently,” she said.
Greene County has seen a spike in fatal crashes overall this year. As of this week, there have been 15 fatal crashes, resulting in the deaths of 20 people, according to statistics provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. By comparison, there were 10 fatal crashes resulting in 11 deaths in 2016.
Prior to Monday’s incident, the last fatal crash in the county happened Nov. 22 at Ohio 72 and Clifton Road, where 25-year-old Zachary McDaniel, of Xenia, was killed when his vehicle collided with a dump truck.