The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU mourns the loss of track and field athlete

Mississippi State University confirmed the death of recently graduated Kaelin Georgette Kersh. The 22 year old was killed in an automobile accident in Starkville Sunday morning at around 1:24 a.m..
Kersh, who was from Pearl, Mississippi, majored in kinesiology. She was a member of the MSU track and field athlete.
In a release sent by MSU this morning, MSU track and field coach Steve Dudley said Kersh was an encouragement to everyone around her.
“I will always remember Kaelin by her incredible smile,” Dudley said. “Kaelin always had a positive attitude and this was contagious to everyone around her. Kaelin was a member of the most successful era of women’s track and field at Mississippi State and that was largely due to the tight bond between her and her teammates. We all loved her, and Kaelin will remain in our hearts forever. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Kersh family and to the other families involved.”
John Cohen, MSU director of athletics, said MSU is mourning the loss of Kersh.
“The entire Mississippi State family mourns the tragic loss of Kaelin,” Cohen said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Kaelin’s family, friends, teammates and coaches. She represented Mississippi State in a first-class manner and earned her degree. We will be here to provide support and comfort to her family and teammates during the grieving process.” 
Sid Salter, chief communications officer at MSU, spoke on behalf of the university regarding Kersh’s death.
“Mississippi State University is deeply saddened by the death of our student athlete Kaelin Kersh and injuries to two other MSU students,” Salter said. “The fact that this accident took place hours after the graduation of these outstanding students makes it all the more tragic. The accident remains under investigation at this time.”
Salter said the other two students involved in the accident were Noel Collier, graduated kinesiology major from Madison, Mississippi, and Tanequa Alexander, graduated criminology major of Ridgeland, Mississippi.  
A release from Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol said the crash happened at the intersection of Mayhew Road and MS 182.  The release said Collier was driving the car and was transported to University Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi with moderate injuries. Alexander was initially transported OCH in Starkville before being transferred to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo with moderate injuries. Kersh was pronounced dead at the scene by the Oktibbeha County Coroner according to the release. 
The crash involved two cars, the car with the three former students and the other vehicle was a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper’s vehicle. The trooper was transported by patrol vehicle to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus for minor injuries, according to Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.
The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol said the crash remains under investigation.
Kersh helped MSU take the distance medley relay at the Alabama relays last fall. At the Florida State relay, she also placed in the top 10 in the 800 meters. This spring, she ran on two relay teams at the Blazer Invitational. As a member of the 4×400 team, Kersh ran the second leg of the distance medley relay team, which won second place.
Kersh was daughter of Toni and George Kersh and sibling to Morris Kersh. In their release, MSU said funeral arrangements are pending.
A prayer service will be held for Kersh tomorrow at the Mike Sanders Track complex at 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU mourns the loss of track and field athlete