Baylor Statement on Student, Graduate Deaths, Student Injuries in Car Accident

July 29, 2014

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Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275

WACO, Texas (July 29, 2014) -- Baylor University is mourning the tragic deaths of one student and one recent graduate who were involved in a one-car accident today (Tuesday, July 29) on Hwy 7 near Kosse in Falls County in Central Texas. The accident also injured another Baylor student and an incoming Baylor freshman, who have been taken to Baylor Scott & White in Temple with serious injuries.

The Department of Public Safety has identified the Baylor students and graduate who perished in the accident as:

John Patrick “Jack” Stewart, who was a junior instrumental studies major from Dallas

Laura Onwudinanti, who just earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Baylor in May 2014. She was from Grand Prairie.

The injured students are:

Jacob “Jake” Travis Hale, a senior instrumental music major from Fort Worth

Megan Taylor Ritzi, an incoming freshman from Fort Worth

The group was traveling to perform at The International Clarinet Association meeting to be held July 30-Aug. 3 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

“The hearts of the Baylor University family and our School of Music are broken today as we mourn the passing of these remarkably talented students who have been taken too soon from us,” Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr said. “We pray that God’s grace and comfort will surround the families and friends of Jack Stewart and Laura Onwudinanti at this terribly sad hour. We continue to labor in prayer for Jake Hale and Megan Ritzi, and for their attending physicians, as they are treated for their injuries. We ask the Baylor family to keep all loved ones and friends, and our School of Music faculty, staff and students, in their thoughts and prayers.”

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