Two unrelated car accidents took the lives of two CSU students and one Fort Collins resident early last week during spring break.
Katelyn Henning, a CSU sophomore, and her boyfriend Damon Johnson were killed in a car accident March 13 in Kingman, Ariz. The next day, CSU freshman Larissa Hartman was killed driving through a storm on Highway 285 near Fairplay.
â€œThe Colorado State University community is very saddened by the tragic deaths of two CSU students in separate accidents over Spring Break. The University extends its condolences to the families and friends of Katelyn Henning and Larissa Hartman,â€ said Brad Bohlander, chief spokesperson for the university, in a released statement from the university.
Henning was a business major planning to go into sports management when she graduated. She was an avid sports fan who loved the Denver Nuggets.
â€œJR Smith was her favorite player. No one could tell her any different,â€ said Liz Diubaldo, a sophomore undeclared major.
Johnson was completely ejected after the car veered off to the left-hand side of Interstate 40 and rolled one and a half times. Henning was only partially ejected due to the lap belt she was wearing.
Memorial services were held March 19 for Henning in her hometown of Littleton. Friends described her as a devoted student and athlete.
Henning was also a dedicated student who actively participated in intramural sports. â€œShe was so athletic and was always playing intramurals,â€ said Samantha Johnson, a sophomore social work major and friend of the deceased.
â€œShe will never be forgotten and will live on in my heart forever,â€ Diubaldo said.
Damon Johnson, 19, was an outgoing teenager who loved Fort Collins and dreamed of being a CSU Ram.
â€œHe was planning on enrolling at Front Range this summer and then transfer to CSU in the fall,â€ said Samantha Johnson. â€œHis dream was to be a CSU student.â€
Hartman was majoring in Health and Exercise Science and had just arrived to campus last fall. As a student at South High School in Denver, Hartman was best known for her performance on the schoolâ€™s track team.
â€œShe was very competitive,â€ said high school classmate Bobby Moreno, a sophomore at Metro State College. â€œShe was very self motivated and in some ways stubborn.â€
Junior communications major AJ Lopez described Hartman as â€œkind of shy, but once you got to know her she was really sweet. One of the nicest people Iâ€™ve ever met by far.â€
Alcohol was ruled out as a factor in both accidents. Hartman and McDonald were both wearing their seatbelts according to Colorado State Patrol.
Miranda McDonald, a CSU freshman, was in the car with Hartman and was taken to the Swedish Hospital in Englewood. McDonald could not be reached for comment.
CSU student Andrew Schall was driving and wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident involving Henning and Johnson in Arizona. He has no injuries.
Nichole Franco, 19, was also in the car and is being treated at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Arizona State Patrol said all injuries and deaths in that accident could have been avoided if all passengers had been wearing their seatbelts.
CSU offers many campus resources for those affected by these tragedies and is available to assist those who might feel in need of support.
It is common to have distressed emotions in situations such as these, Bohlander said in the release, and any member of the CSU community who might be experiencing distress is encouraged to access CSU resources.
Students can contact CSU Health Network Counseling Services at (970) 491-6053 or the counselor on call after hours at (970) 491-7111. Employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-497-9133.
Staff writer Jordyn Dahl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.