Student Accident and Aftermath

Dec. 10, 2013: 11:00 a.m.: *************************

The University held a memorial service for Kelsey Durkin on Monday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel. Kelsey, a member of the Class of 2014, was from New Canaan, Conn.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to the Kelsey Durkin Fund in support of the Shepherd Poverty Program. Gifts to the fund can be made online or by check to Gift Accounting, Office of University Development, Washington and Lee University, 204 W. Washington St., Lexington, VA 24450. Please note with either method that the gift is in memory of Kelsey Durkin.

An archived version of the video of the service is available on the Internet at

Anyone who wishes to communicate with the Durkin family may send cards or notes to Mr. and Mrs. Durkin, c/o Office of the President, Washington and Lee University, 204 West Washington Street, Lexington, VA 24450. You can use either campus mail or U.S. mail.

Updated Dec. 12, 2013: 5:00 p.m.: *************************

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, the Virginia State Police released the names of all the students involved in the Dec. 3 automobile accident, updating the number from 10 to 11.

  • Pinkney V. Beal ’17, of Columbia, S.C.
  • Andrew H. Crum ’15, of Montgomery, Ala.
  • Virginia E. Dixon ’16, of Oakton, Va. She was treated University of Virginia Medical Center and has been released.
  • Kelsey H. Durkin ’14, of New Canaan, Conn. Durkin died in the accident.
  • Ellen K. Gleason ’15, of Santa Barbara, Calif. She was treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center and has been released.
  • Scott N. Gould ’15, of Nashville, Tenn.
  • Wilson M. Hallett ’15, of Charlotte, N.C.
  • Nicholas P. Hansel ’15, of New Orleans
  • Catherine D. Salm ’15, of Lakeland, Fla.
  • George B. Ugarte ’17, of Columbia, S.C.
  • Thomas R. Wall V ’15, of New York, N.Y. He is listed in good condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and is expected to be released this coming weekend. He will return home for ongoing therapy.

Dec. 3, 2013: 2:44 p.m. ***************************

We will be gathering as a community tonight at 6:30 p.m. in front of Lee Chapel for a candlelight vigil to remember Kelsey and to support one another.  All members of the community are welcome.

Dec. 3, 2013: 10:13 a.m. **************************

To: The University Community

From: President Ruscio

Our hearts go out to the family of Kelsey Durkin and her many friends on this campus.  Kelsey, a senior from New Canaan, Connecticut, was the student who died in the accident early this morning.

There are no words to express the grief we feel over the loss of someone taken from us so suddenly and tragically. In the days ahead, in the weeks and months ahead, our sadness will be lessened only by the memories of her time with us.

This is a community of compassion and caring friendships. That makes the sadness we feel deep and genuine.  But this is also a community of strength and support for one another, and we need now more than ever to call upon that most precious quality. I don’t need to remind you to be there for one another, to draw support from our ability to care for each other, to keep the Durkin family especially in your thoughts and prayers, and to be there for them.

We will continue to provide information and updates, including plans for a memorial service for Kelsey, as they become available.

We also are in touch with the families of the other students who were injured and will let you know of their conditions, as we are able to.

Dec 3, 2013: 8:49 a.m.  ****************************

To: The University Community

From: President Ruscio

Ten Washington and Lee University students were involved in a single-car accident early Tuesday morning, Dec. 3, in Rockbridge County.

With great sadness, I must tell you that one of the students has died. The University is in touch with the family.

The students were treated at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital. Two of the students were then transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center, and one student was then transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. The rest of the students were treated and released from Carilion Stonewall Jackson.

At this time, out of respect for the students and their families, we are not providing identifications or any other details, but we are working closely with those most affected.

Members of the Washington and Lee Office of Student Affairs were at the Lexington hospital and are at the Charlottesville and Roanoke hospitals to offer support and assistance.

We are deeply concerned for the students who were involved in the accident and for everyone who knows them. Counselors are available for students at the Student Health Center; call 458-8401.

If staff and faculty would like to speak to a counselor, please contact the free, confidential Carilion Employee Assistance Program at (800) 992-1931.

Members of the Student Affairs staff are still gathering information about the accident.

We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

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12 Responses to “Student Accident and Aftermath”

  1. Steve Novack says:

    Michael (’13), his mom and I have and will continue to pray for the Durkin family for comfort, consolation and hope. Our thoughts are with the W&L community because of this tragedy.

  2. Avery Ball says:

    Kelsey Durkin’s soul and spirit will stay at Washington & Lee University and even on graduation. We all will have prayers for her lovely family that is heartbroken and friends that are in grief of such a tragic loss.

  3. French Family says:

    Our prayers are with the Durkin family and the entire W&L family. May we all find God’s peace and understanding at this time of great grief.

  4. Padma says:

    Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about Kelsey Durkin’s death. With thoughts of peace and courage for you. The Campbells

  5. Aaron Massey says:

    I am so sorry. My deepest condolences to the Durkin family and every other family involved. They are in my prayers.

  6. Steve Tamayo says:

    We’re praying for the Durkin family, for the students who were injured and for the W&L community.

  7. The Watson Family says:

    The Watson family is praying for the Durkins, for the other 9 students involved, for the families of all the other students, and for the W&L community. We are heartbroken.

  8. Robin Rakouska says:

    The Rakouska family sends our deepest sympathy and comforting thoughts and prayers to Kelsey’s family and to all who were blessed by her presence.

  9. Karen Risi says:

    So so sorry – Kelsey was a lovely wonderful young woman. Our hearts & prayers go out to her family & all that knew her. The Risi’s

  10. Burr Datz says:

    May Kelsey’s soul rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her. Prayers for her family and friends grieving such a tragic loss.

  11. Jan Tratnik McPike says:

    The McPike family expresses heartfelt condolences to the Durkin family and to the entire Washington and Lee community. We also send our caring thoughts and prayers to the injured students and their families.

  12. robin hayslett says:

    so heart breaking..our hearts go out to the family of Kelsey and her family and to all those that were injured..prayers and hugs for all..especially at this time of the year…

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