Time of mourning shrouds university

Story by Connor Jaschen, Editor-in-Chief 

The Murray State community is mourning the loss of two students and sending thoughts and prayers for the ones injured in two separate car crashes last week.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25 in the Trace, an area known to locals inside Land Between the Lakes, three Murray State students and a local high school graduate were involved in a single-car collision. According to a preliminary investigation, the group was travelling southbound on Highway 453 in a 2013 Ford Mustang. While taking a left turn, the vehicle went off the road, colliding with a tree and killing two of the passengers.

Aaron Adams, sophomore from Cadiz, Kentucky and Robert Clayton Jr., an 18-year-old from Murray were pronounced dead on the scene by the Lyon County Coroner.

President Bob Davies sent an email last week to the Murray State community regarding the crash.

“We are truly devastated at the loss of this wonderful young man with so much promise,” Davies said.  

Kaitlyn Bowers, freshman from Owensboro, Kentucky who was driving the Mustang, and Joseph Phillips, freshman from Lewisburg, Kentucky were transported to Murray-Calloway County Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Less than 48 hours later, two Murray State students were involved in a head-on collision while travelling eastbound on Western Kentucky Parkway near Elizabethtown.

Arshaud Hussain, the 50-year-old driver of the other vehicle, crossed the median into oncoming traffic, where he collided with a vehicle driven by William (Liam) Coursey, freshman from Madisonville.

Brooke Phillips, freshman from Slaughters, Kentucky was the passenger in Coursey’s vehicle.  

Phillips was pronounced dead on the scene. Coursey was taken to a Louisville hospital with significant injuries. Phillips was a psychology major.

Davies sent out a second email alerting the Murray State community of the second crash.

“I cannot express the sadness that another message like this creates,” Davis said. “Please remember to keep the friends and family of Brooke in your thoughts and prayers as they cope with their loss. And please send thoughts of support to Liam as he recovers from his injuries and support his family and friends as you are best able to.”

Funeral services for Phillips will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 11 a.m. at Barnett-Strother Funeral Home in Slaughters, Kentucky. Funeral services were held on Tuesday for Adams at King’s Funeral Home in Cadiz.

Murray State has made available counseling services to faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the University’s Employee Assistance Program at (800) 441-1327. Students may contact University Counseling Services at (270) 809-6851

As a community, we share in both joys and sorrows,” Davies said. “These sorrows over the last week cut to the heart.  We are deeply saddened with the loss of another promising student and severe injuries to another. Moments like this remind us how invaluable our University community bond is and also how precious life truly is.”’