Oakland University students Jenna Balabuch and Rachel Ring died in a car accident on southbound I-75 yesterday afternoon, OU President Gary Russi confirmed today in a letter written to the campus community.
Balabuch and Ring were both 19, according to Michigan State Police Trooper Dan Martin.
Shannon Waite, a junior English major, was admitted to Detroit Receiving Hospital after sustaining critical injuries and remains there.
Waite serves as a webmaster for the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and is a resident assistant in the small halls, according to the organization’s site.
Ring previously attended Oakland University according to former coworker Tony Ip, but had transferred to Grand Valley State University according to her Facebook profile.
“Jenna and Rachel have left us far too early, but we can honor their lives by remembering them with love, and by providing comfort and support to those who loved them,” said the letter from Russi. “We can also support Shannon and her family by keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.”
According to Martin, the accident involved four vehicles and 10 people. It was previously reported by Michigan State Police that the accident involved a hit-and-run, but Martin said all parties involved did stop.
Students in Sigma Tau Delta were making their way to the John K. King bookstore when the accident occurred. Toxicology reports are not available yet, but police do not believe alcohol was a factor in the accident.
No charges have been pressed by Wayne County prosecutors as of press time.
Counseling services are available to faculty, staff and students. David Schwartz, director of the Graham Counseling Center can be called directly today at (248) 890-4939.
“In the meantime, let’s come together – as we always do in times of tragedy – to help each other through this extraordinarily difficult period,” said Russi’s letter.