Ohio Wesleyan University students returned from Spring Break on Monday to learn two of their classmates had been involved in a tragic accident.
Sophomores Jakob Von Der Vellen, 19, of Medina and Vince Donofrio, 20, of Canfield were involved.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the accident happened on Friday around 11:41 a.m. on I-77 northbound, one mile from Rock Hill, South Carolina.
A preliminary investigation revealed the 2005 Mazda sedan that Donofrio was driving went off the right side of the road and hit several trees.
Both men were taken to the hospital, but Von Der Vellen did not survive.
Counselors, members of the Chaplain’s staff, and other Student Affairs personnel were made available for support as students returned to campus.
Kimberlie Goldsberry, the Dean of Students at Ohio Wesleyan University, issued a statement that said in part,
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these two young men, who were brothers in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Jake was an exceptional person who brought much to the Ohio Wesleyan campus. He was president of Sig Ep and was committed to involving all of his brothers in community service. He will be sorely missed but forever remembered.
We will share more news as it becomes available, including plans to come together as an OWU family to remember Jake and pray for Vince.”
On Monday, a representative from Carolinas Medical Center indicated that Donofrio had already been treated and released but it was unknown if he returned home or was taken to another facility.