WVU student dies in I-79 car crash
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 23:02
An I-79 crash in Washington County, Pa., took the life of West Virginia University student Sarah Graham Wednesday.
Police said Graham, 20, of Frederick, Md., died at the scene of the accident just before the Marianna exit in Amwell.
The driver of the car was WVU nursing student Emily Benford.
Benford lost control of the vehicle and hit a guardrail before a tractor trailer collided with the stationary vehicle.
Benford was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital and is in critical condition.
Both girls are members of WVU’s chapter of the Delta Gamma sorority.
Austin Braswell, a former WVU student, is from Graham’s hometown and said he has known her since middle school.
"I think she would want to be remembered as a caring, loving person. She was extremely outgoing. She was always willing to put anyone else before herself," Braswell said. "She was, by far, one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. She’s so nice, so friendly, beautiful, and she’s just so caring. She’d do anything for any of her friends."
Braswell said for the past 10 years, he and Graham were able to cultivate a close relationship he will forever value.
"There’s this little doughnut place in Hagerstown (Md.), called Krumpe’s Do-Nuts, and they’re only open at weird hours of the night. We’d go there at like (midnight) sometimes on a weekend when we couldn’t find anything to do.
"We’d just hang out, tell stories and just eat doughnuts at weird hours of the night. It’s kind of a weird thing, but that’s something we’d like to do. It’s definitely a lot of the little things that I definitely appreciated. That’s how I’m going to remember her," he said.
"I couldn’t have asked for a better friend than Sarah."
In a University statement, spokesperson John Bolt said the WVU community is deeply sadden by the incident and loss of a fellow Mountaineer.
"It is tragic, and the entire University community is saddened," he said. "University representatives are reaching out to the family and friends of both students to offer whatever help and support they can."
Natalie Doerr, Panhellenic Advisor for WVU, said the Delta Gamma sorority will host a candlelight vigil Friday to honor Graham’s life.
"All are welcome to attend this memorial," Doerr said. "It is a tremendous loss to our Greek Community. Please extend a helping hand to Delta Gamma as they are mourning this loss and keep Emily Benford in your prayers that she has a strong recovery."
The vigil will take place at the Delta Gamma house at 5 p.m. Members of the sorority and Graham’s family will be present.