“Virginia State Police confirm Jane Hwang, 18, was the James Madison University freshman that was hit and killed by a city bus Tuesday night. Hwang is from Fairfax, Va. The crash occurred at 9:52 p.m. on JMU’s campus at the intersection of Carrier Drive and Bluestone Drive. Hwang was hit by a Harrisonburg city bus and died at the scene. The bus driver is not facing any charges. The cause was determined as inattention on the part of the pedestrian. The intersection was controlled by traffic signals and crosswalk signals. The bus was making a left turn from Bluestone Drive into Carrier Drive and had a green signal when the victim entered the crosswalk on a “do not walk” signal and was crossing Carrier Drive.” –WHSV
These words are informative. Journalistic. Factual. And yet they do not encompass the massive power that this singular event has unleashed on JMU’s campus. As soon as confirmation that a bus accident had occurred by Godwin Hall, students took to social media offering kind thoughts, words of wisdom, and condolences for a STRANGER. We were unaware of the identity of the individual let alone if they were even a JMU student, and yet, at one am hundreds gathered at the spot to unite as a single JMU Nation.
As time progressed, people reached out from across campus, across Virginia, and across the country to offer their words and support. Now more than ever, we need to unite as a community and show everyone we are strong. President Rose stated it best with: “So where do we take comfort and what do we do? Well, as a family would, we should first reach out to those most immediately touched by the departure of a loved one and offer our support in coping with the loss. We should look for those in need and we should lend a hand. There is no best way to do this. Just make the effort your own way – it will be appreciated.”
Tonight there will be vigil to honor not only Jane, but those Dukes who we lost this Fall semester. Forever All Together One is happening November 16th, 2011 in the Convocation Center at 9:30pm. We hope to see you there.
“JMU is not just an institution of higher learning, but it is a spirit, it is an atmosphere, it is a way of life that I am glad to say I have lived.” – Alpha Spitzer class of 1937