3 JMU students, 2 from Richmond killed in crash

The crash happened near the West Virginia-Virginia border
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 1:54 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 5:53 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WWBT) - James Madison University says that “several” students were killed and injured in a car crash in West Virginia on Thursday night.

“In addition to those we have lost, other students from our community involved in the accident sustained life-threatening injuries and remain hospitalized,” Vice President for Student Affairs Tim Miller said in a message to the JMU community.

Friday evening, the school identified the three young men killed. John “Luke” Fergusson, a sophomore majoring in arts and design and Nicholas Troutman, a sophomore majoring in business management, are both from Richmond. The third young man was identified as Joshua Mardis, a sophomore majoring in communication studies from Williamsburg.

The school says two other students involved are currently being treated at the hospital. No word on their conditions as of yet.

WHSV reports that the incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on West Virginia Route 259 near the West Virginia-Virginia border.

The Hardy County’s Sheriff’s Office says the vehicle was traveling south before leaving the roadway and hitting a tree. There were no signs of skid marks on the road indicating any type of evasive actions and no indications of an animal being struck, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office says five people - all 19 years old - were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and another passenger were flown from the scene in critical condition.

“The occupants of the vehicle had been at the Paradise City Club along Route 259 prior to this accident,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.