MATHIAS, W.Va. (AP) — Three Virginia college students were killed when their vehicle left a road and struck a tree in West Virginia, authorities said Friday.
The single-vehicle accident occurred Thursday night along West Virginia Route 259 near the Virginia border, the Hardy County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
There were five men in the vehicle, all 19-year-old students at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the sheriff’s office said. Three occupants were pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver and another passenger were airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. The statement didn’t indicate the hospital where they were taken.
The statement said the men were at a club prior to the accident about 37 miles (59 kilometers) from Harrisonburg. The statement said road conditions were dry and there were no signs of vehicle skid marks on the road. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
The university identified the students who were killed as John “Luke” Fergusson and Nicholas Troutman of Richmond and Joshua Mardis of Williamsburg. All were sophomores.
“The JMU community grieves for our students lost and injured in a tragic car accident, for their families, friends and all who knew them,” James Madison President Jonathan R. Alger said in a statement on Twitter. “Please support each other and know that the university is here to support you as well.”