A 19-year-old Pennsylvania State University student was killed Sunday afternoon and six other students were injured in a one-car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Chester County.
The accident occurred at 1:49 p.m., when the students were returning from a trip to solicit donations for a nationally known student-run philanthropy commonly referred to as Thon.
Penn State officials identified the dead student as Vitalya "Tally" Sepot, who was a passenger in the car returning to State College from the Philadelphia area.
Sepot, a sophomore from Branford, Conn., was pronounced dead at the scene. The injured students were transported to Paoli Hospital. No information was released on their condition.
Damon Sims, vice president for student affairs, said the college community was "deeply saddened by this tragedy."
"Our hopes are with the students injured, whose release from the hospital we are eager to see, but our hearts are with Tally's family and friends, whose terrible loss we mourn," Sims said.
Injured students were Victoria Barrett, 18, of Gibsonia, Pa; Sarah Bixby, 18, of Flemington, N.J.; Claire Fountas, 19, of Barrington, Ill.; Matthew Hrynkow, 20, of Annandale, Va.; Brooke Kalodner, 18, of Voorhees, and Max Titlebaum, 20, of Merion.
State police said the turnpike was closed for much of the afternoon between King of Prussia and Downingtown. They gave no cause of the accident.
Sepot, who was majoring in graphic design, was part of a group of students from the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity who were returning from their first weekend of "canning" for donations.
Several weekends a year are designated as "canning" weekends, where students solicit donations in communities across the region. Since 1977, Thon has raised more than $127 million for families of pediatric cancer patients and research.