One Southwestern Community College student was killed and two other students were injured in a one-vehicle accident just south of the Iowa/Missouri line this weekend.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the accident happened early Saturday morning, at about 2:15, when a truck carrying seven young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 ran off the south side of the road. The driver overcorrected, flipped the vehicle and all the occupants were ejected as none were wearing seat belts.
Nineteen-year-old Chrystal Olerich of Lake View, Iowa — a volleyball player for the community college team in Creston — was killed. Two young men from Hopkins, Missouri, where the crash happened, also died; one was a 2009 graduate of Southwestern Community College.
Two other Southwestern Community College students, an 18- and a 19-year-old — both young women from Bedford, Iowa, were injured in the crash.
The truck’s 22-year-old driver received minor injuries and he refused medical treatment at the scene. Another 19-year-old man from Missouri who was in the truck was seriously injured.
Hopkins, Missouri is just across the Iowa border in northwest Missouri. It’s a 54-mile drive from Hopkins to Creston.
Administrators at Southwestern Community College issued a written statement to the media:
We, at Southwestern Community College, are still trying to come to grips with the sudden and unexpected loss of Southwestern Community College student-athlete Chrystal Olerich. Olerich, a freshman from Lake View, and two other SWCC students—Samantha Weed and Kaley Folkerts, both of Bedford—were passengers in a one-vehicle accident early Saturday morning just outside of Hopkins, MO. Josh Bix, a 2009 SWCC graduate, also sustained fatal injuries in the accident.
According to SWCC President Barb Crittenden, the college family is coming together during this time of loss. “We wish to express our deepest sympathies to the families of Chrystal and Josh. We remain concerned for Samantha and Kaley and we will keep them in our thoughts as they recover,” Crittenden stated.
Grief counseling was made available to students at 5 p.m. Saturday evening and…again on Sunday, October 30, from 5-8 p.m. Additional counseling will be provided as necessary.