Two WSU students killed in car crashes sparks controversial conv - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Two WSU students killed in car crashes sparks controversial conversation

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PULLMAN, Wash. -

The deaths of two Washington State University students over the weekend have sparked a controversial conversation about road safety and dangerous driving conditions.

Twenty-year-old Rachel Pomeroy died Sunday when traveling eastbound on state Highway 26, 16 miles west of Washtucna. And 19-year-old Dashiell Mortell of Bainbridge Island died Saturday when the vehicle he was riding in rear-ended a car that had stopped for a collision on Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.

Students at WSU took to social media Monday and Tuesday, to call out President Dr. Kirk Schulz for not canceling classes due to inclement weather.

The former student body president, Adam Crouch had this to say on Twitter:

“Class shouldn't come before student safety. Sad to see nothing being done after there have already been MULTIPLE STUDENT DEATHS.”

“If they were to have classes they should have been cancelled or optional,” said Crouch. “Unfortunately it took students passing to bring this to the forefront and get as much tractions as it's getting now.”

Leanna Thompson tweeted at Dr. Schulz, writing “if your professors can't make it to @WSUPullman for their JOB maybe a snow day is in order.”

Another student tweeted, “Cancel school, if you want to actually ensure safety.”

It appears that parents also took to social media: @janabarber tweeted to the universities president, “Get in your car and drive 26 in the snow. Perspective. You wouldn't let your kids drive it.”

In an e-mail, President Schulz responded that “As a residential campus, WSU Pullman almost never closes. It is literally home to thousands of students, which makes an actual suspension of operations quite problematic. Staff is required to support our operations 24 hours a day and large numbers of students live on campus even between semesters.”

President Schulz also said “WSU routinely encourages students to take weather conditions into account when traveling to and from Pullman. Students left Pullman before Christmas knowing that classes were to resume on Jan. 9.”

Current WSU Student Body President, Taylor Christenson, told KHQ in a phone interview that classes should have been optional and that the University could have done a better job alerting students. 

“Actually putting out the pass report instead of link so it’s easier for students to access would be a step in the right direction,” said Christenson.

President Schulz did respond to several students on twitter, asking for ideas on how to make passage to and from Pullman safer. 

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