NEAR NEW RIVER, Ariz. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported on October 10 that a vehicle travelling the wrong way on I-17 early on Monday morning killed three first-year Grand Canyon University students and housemates. Because of the four-car collision at about 4 a.m., north of New River, all northbound lanes were closed.
The vehicle carrying the students and two other vehicles was struck by a driver going south in the lanes for going north. According to the DPS, the other two cars’ occupants are going to be fine, and the alleged wrong-way driver was hospitalised after being found unconscious at the site. However, the students perished. According to DPS, impairment is thought to have contributed to this crash. At 11:30 a.m., the highway reopened.
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Victims identified; Friends React
The three victims of the tragedy were identified as Grand Canyon University students about 12 hours after the accident. The three freshmen roommates were 18-year-old Abriauna Hoffman, 19-year-old Hunter Balberdi, and 18-year-old Magdalyn “Maggie” Ogden. Three people were involved; two were declared dead on the spot, and one died in the hospital.
Balberdi was a pre-med student who was from Wailuku, Hawaii and was majoring in biology. Ogden, a native of Clarkston, Washington, followed the same academic and professional route as Balberdi. Hoffman, a Clarkston, Washington native, was pursuing a degree in marketing and advertising.
An excerpt from the university’s statement stated, “As the GCU family rallies together to grieve the devastating death of these students, we ask that you remember their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and know that God is always there for us. The three victims’ friends are responding to the news of their deaths.
It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we share with you that three GCU students passed away this morning after a collision. The 3 students – Abriauna Hoffman, Hunter Balberdi and Magdalyn “Maggie” Ogden – were all freshmen and suitemates in Diamondback Apartments (1/3)
— Grand Canyon U (@gcu) October 11, 2022
“I simply could not accept it. It was incredibly tragic “Julia Solano, Ogden’s friend remarked. When Ogden went to enrol at GCU, Solano last saw her there. “She greeted me as soon as I entered the room and gave me a bear embrace, even though I wasn’t feeling well psychologically at the time.
TRAFFIC ALERT: I17 North closed at Table Mesa because of a deadly crash. Bumper to bumper traffic ahead of the exit. No estimate on when freeway will reopen. #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/Tgtw3JreO0
— Danielle Miller FOX10 (@Fox10Danielle) October 10, 2022
She simply made my day significantly better and assured me that everything would turn out well “Solano said. On the GCU campus, a memorial to Balberdi, Hoffman, and Ogden has been erected. The Office of Student Care, located on the second floor of the Student Life Building, provides assistance to students.
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