WSU Mourns Loss Of Three Students

Washington State University is mourning the death of three students who died in a two-car crash in North Idaho as they were heading up to go skiing Friday evening.

The crash happened around 7:00pm along Highway 95 near Cougar Gulch Road. The students were headed northbound in an Isuzu Trooper when the driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a Chevy Suburban coming down in the southbound lanes.

Two students, 20-year-old Benjamin Lockard and 19-year-old Ann Barney died instantly. 21-year-old Tyler Pearson died early Saturday morning at Kootenai Medical Center from wounds he sustained in the crash.

The Idaho State Police said that high speed, combined with slick roads, contributed to the fatal crash.

On Saturday, the WSU campus in Pullman was quiet as students are just learning of their fellow classmates’ death.

“You can certainly understand the tragedy and the feelings of these people’s families-who are sending their kids to school for an education, go off on a ski trip and this sort of thing happens, it’s really very sad,” WSU staff member James Tinney said.

The three students were accomplished students at Washington State University. Pearson was a senior majoring in Digital Technology and Culture, Lockard was earning a degree in Natural Resource Sciences as he was finishing the second half of his junior year, and Barney was a sophomore who was on the honor roll.

Tinney says that at a campus like WSU, in middle of a small town, students realize that they need to drive great distances to get to many places in the Inland Northwest. However, he knows that this tragedy will affect many students on the campus.

“On one hand, you recognize the possibility, and on the other, you just hope it doesn’t happen, and when it does it really does hit you right in the stomach,” Tinney said.

The University will be planning a memorial for the students who died in the crash.