One student still in intensive care after crash; some upset WSU won’t cancel class

From staff reports

One WSU student remains hospitalized with serious injuries after a car crash Sunday while three others have been released from the hospital.

Freshman John Crawford’s condition is serious, and he is currently in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His brother, Justin Crawford, and two other passengers, senior Andrew Hammond and sophomore Chanlin Morgan, were discharged from Kittitas Valley Hospital.

The group was involved in a nine-car pileup on Sunday on Interstate 90 that resulted in the death of another student, Dashiell Mortell.

Many WSU students, alumni and parents have posted on Twitter in the past day, outraged that WSU hasn’t cancelled classes.

Senior Katie Marsh, a communication major, tweeted in reply to WSU President Kirk Schulz on Monday, asking why he had not yet commented on the several students who died from accidents and telling him to cancel classes when conditions are this bad.

“I’m proud to be a Coug,” Marsh tweeted, “but seeing WSU fail to do anything when our students die almost every break driving makes me sick.”

Schulz’s original tweet asked for ideas on how to get WSU students, staff and faculty in and out of Pullman during the winter in Eastern Washington.

Steve Meador, a 2001 alum, tweeted at WSU that they are putting students’ lives at risk by making them feel like they had to come back to school Monday. Numerous other social media posts echoed this sentiment. WSU responded to the posts with an official statement Monday afternoon.

“The university wishes to extend condolences to the families of the two students who died tragically in separate traffic accidents this weekend, as well as any other students who may have been injured while travelling,” the university stated.

WSU is a residential campus and therefore almost never closes. The enrollment at WSU is over 20,000 students, which makes cancelling classes problematic, according to the statement. Local Pullman schools did not close for the day either, although some had delayed starts, according to the statement.

Reporting by Katie Shadler and Sarah Olsen