A college student from Fairfax County was killed and 64 people were injured Wednesday night when a rented truck carrying University of Virginia fraternity members to a party overturned and collided with a compact car north of Lynchburg, Virginia State police said.
The dead student was identified yesterday as freshman Brian H. McKittrick, 17, of Lindamarie Court, Oakton. A spokeswoman at Lynchburg General said that three of the 16 people admitted to the hospital after the wreck were in critical condition. They were identified as: Chris Meigs, 18, of Reston; Thomas Strumm, 21, of Alexandria, and Mark Brooks, 19, of Charlottesville.
The conditions of the 13 others hospitalized ranged from satisfactory to serious, she said. Most of the injured were treated for minor injuries and then released.
University of Virginia officials said the 64 students in the accident were members of a rush week party sponsored by the Charlottesville chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity and were on a "roll" to Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, 60 miles from Charlottesville. According to police, 62 of the students were in the back of the rented, 25-foot truck, and two more were in the cab.
About five miles from Randolph-Macon, police said, the truck, headed southbound but apparently on the wrong side of the road, rounded a curve on U.S. Rte. 29 and overturned, either falling on top of or crashing into a northbound Volkswagen.
Police said they found numerous beer cans at the scene of the accident. A fraternity council statement said, however, that police had found that drinking did not contribute to the accident.
The driver of the car, Marcellus Liggon, 38, of Madison Heights, north of Lynchburg, was in fair condition yesterday, following surgery.
University of Virginia spokeswoman Libby Wilson said that upper-class members of the fraternity were taking a group of prospective members to the Lynchburg party. Rental trucks traditionally are used for such "rolls," she said.
"The idea is apparently to limit the number of cars on the road," Wilson said. "Of course, buses would be safer, but probably more expensive."
A spokeswomen for Randolph-Macon said that the students were bound for a private party at the small, all-woman college. It was to be held in one of the Pines, several houses that had been sorority dormitories before sororities were abolished at the 750-student school.
The university's fraternity council yesterday banned all rush activities for the day and the use of nonpassenger vehicles to transport students.
McKittrick, the youth killed in the crash, was considering a premedical course of study. He was a graduate of Oakton High School, where he played varsity basketball and was a member of the national honor society.