UPDATED: Feb. 10, 2013, at 11:01 p.m.
One College student died and three others were injured in a traffic accident on the New Jersey Turnpike early Monday morning while returning from a mock trial competition in Virginia.
Angela R. Mathew ’15 died in the accident, which occurred at 12:35 a.m. Monday, according to New Jersey State Police. She was 20 years old.
Florence Y. Chen ’15, Jacob R. Steinberg-Otter ’16, and Graham J. Wyatt ’14 were injured and taken to a hospital in Trenton following the accident, Sergeant First Class Gregory M. Williams said in a phone interview late Monday afternoon. Wyatt, a Leverett House resident, was seriously injured but is now in stable condition following surgery, according to an email from Leverett House Master Howard M. Georgi ’68 to the Leverett community.
New Jersey State Police Trooper Jeff Flynn confirmed by phone Monday evening that the the undergraduates were driving in a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country minivan. Flynn said that the car was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike when it crossed over multiple lanes of traffic and slammed into a guardrail before being struck by a tractor-trailer.
Flynn said that Mathew was ejected from the minivan and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The four students were travelling with three others in a van, according to an email from Interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister. Students with the group travelling in a different vehicle were not injured.
“This is a tragedy and I join you all in the feeling of loss Angela's death brings. She was a very bright, talented young woman. Our hearts are broken,” Pfister wrote in the email early Monday evening. “This is a very sudden and unexpected loss.”
Mathew, a Leverett House resident, was a neurobiology concentrator from Albuquerque, N.M., and was a high school seminar director for the Harvard Mock Trial Association, according to the team’s website.
The four undergraduates were members of the Harvard Mock Trial Association and had traveled to Richmond, Va., for a tournament at the University of Richmond, held from Feb. 8-9. Ted Ritter, a coach for the University of Richmond mock trial team, expressed his condolences in an email Monday.
“We are truly saddened by the news,” Ritter wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the [families] of the students involved in the accident and the other members of the Mock Trial team.”
Georgi, Leverett co-master, hosted a gathering for students in the masters’ residence at 7:30 p.m. Monday, and opened up the event to residents of other Houses at 8 p.m. Students met there for conversations, and Pfister and Undergraduate Council leaders were present. Students there could share their thoughts and memories of Mathew in a memory book.
Pfister also shared the news with students’ parents Monday, sending them a copy of the email he sent to undergraduates.
—Staff writers Matthew Q. Clarida and Theodore R. Delwiche contributed to the reporting of this story.
—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.