Marshall student struck and killed by vehicle identified

Local News

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The identity of a Marshall University student struck by a vehicle and killed Thursday, Nov. 4 has been released.

Officials say Maribeth Cox, 22, of Milton, West Virginia, was crossing 3rd Avenue near 18th Street when she was hit by a vehicle near Marshall’s campus by the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center.

According to officials from the city of Huntington, nearby camera footage showed that Cox got off a Tri-State Transit Authority bus that had come to a stop in the northern, outer lane of 3rd Avenue and 18th Street and “briskly” walked in front of the bus while it was stopped at an intersection. Officials say footage showed the turned traffic light green before she walked into the path of the oncoming traffic at the crosswalk where she was struck by the vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation.

Maribeth’s father, William Cox, tells WOWK 13 News his daughter was studying finance and was due to graduate in the spring. She was also very active in her church, her father says.

A small memorial is growing on the corner of Third Avenue and 18th Street, where Cox lost her life crossing. People who knew her—and those who didn’t—are mourning her untimely death.

This memorial is made up of flowers, candles, incense, notes, and even stuffed animals—all paying silent tribute to the young woman; small tokens of love from many, including those who never even knew her.

“It’s definitely different now. As you can see, everyone kind of came out. Especially the freshman residence halls, they organized it and a lot of the girls from the different sororities came out here. Everyone’s just kind of in shock,” says Ashlynn Bowles, a student at Marshall who says she knew Maribeth in high school.

One assistant professor recalls the class he taught right after the accident happened.

“The students that came into class were all deeply affected. And each one of them expressed to me their fears they have when they try to cross Third [Avenue],” says Dr. James Bryce, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, and assistant director of the Appalachian Transportation Institute.

Bryce says since he joined the university in 2018, he’s been advocating for safety improvements near campus.

“This cannot be a freeway anymore. This has to be a way that our students can go from engineering class to English class, to the rec center, to their parking spot, without worrying they’re gonna die,” Bryce says.

One of Bryce’s civil engineering students, Zack Ihnat, agrees and says something needs to change for the safety of pedestrians.

“This being a situation where we just increase police presence or have, you know, a patrol car from MUPD sit here on the corner make sure people aren’t speeding is not the solution to this issue. Because ultimately you can’t solve traffic problems with law enforcement: it’s all about design,” Ihnat says.

Both Bryce and Ihnat suggest things like changing the coordination of the lights to make sure there’s not a continuous flow of traffic, and adding pedestrian islands in the walkway.

“I know that the family, like I said, I went to high school with her, and I know that they’re all really struggling so they definitely need prayers right now, for sure,” says Bowles.

Yesterday following the incident, Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert released the following statement on her death.

“The university community is devastated. Our Marshall family is very close and every one of us has been deeply affected by this afternoon’s tragedy. All our prayers are with the student’s family and friends, as well as with the driver. The university had a counselor at the scene this afternoon and also will be providing assistance and support to the family. Counseling services are available to our students by calling 304-696-2269. With permission from the Governor’s Office, flags on Marshall University’s campus have been lowered to half-staff in the student’s memory. Please keep both families in your thoughts over the coming hours, days and weeks. This is a horrible loss for them and the Marshall family.”

Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert

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