Service Set For 2nd Of Two BU Students Killed In Traffic Crash

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email
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WACO (August 4, 2014) A funeral service has been scheduled for recent Baylor graduate
Laura Ezinwa Onwudinanti, 21, of Grand Prairie, who died last week in a one-vehicle accident that left a Baylor student dead and two other students injured, one of them seriously.

A celebration of Onwudinanti’s will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, at 2024 South Collins St., in Arlington.

She and John Patrick "Jack" Stewart, 19, of Dallas died Tuesday morning when the pickup truck in which they and the other two students were riding veered off state Highway 7 and slammed into a tree in Falls County near the Limestone County line

A funeral Mass for Stewart was held Saturday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dallas.

Incoming Baylor University freshman Megan Taylor Ritzi, 18, of Fort Worth, who was in extremely critical condition after the accident, remains at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple with serious injuries.

Jacob Travis Hale, 21, of Dallas, who Wilson said was driving, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and has since been released from Scott & White.

Onwudinanti received a bachelor's degree in instrumental music in May and was planning to begin graduate study at the University of Michigan in the fall.

Stewart was a junior instrumental studies major and Hale is a senior instrumental music major, Baylor said.

The eastbound pickup in which the four students were riding Tuesday evidently drifted onto the shoulder and the driver over-corrected, which caused the truck to veer off the highway and hit the tree, authorities said.

The four were on their way to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., to perform at The International Clarinet Association meeting, which started Thursday.

The association observed moments of silence before each evening concert through Sunday.

“The International Clarinet Association is heartbroken to learn of this tragedy. We send the families and friends our prayers for those lost, and for the recovery of the two injured students,” the organization said.

News of the accident stunned those who knew the victims.

"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,” he said.


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