Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ole Miss Fraternity Mourns Tragic Loss

Ole Miss Fraternity Mourns Tragic Loss: MyFoxMEMPHIS.com

It's been less than two days since the 82 member pledge class of Kappa Alpha lost three of their members in a tragic single car accident early Sunday morning when the car they were driving drove into the median, off an embankment, flipped and landed upside down in the middle of Mississippi.

The three teens, Sam Clayton, Walker Kelly and Mason Wilbanks were pronounced dead at the scene.

"They are always going to be in the back of or mind and I feel like there is something we can learn from every situation. This is a bad situation and it's not going to get good, but good can come from it," said fraternity brother Josh Hollingsworth.

Sunday evening, a prayer vigil was held at the KA house. Over 400 students attended to help each other grieve, remember and pray together.

KA brother, William Allen reflected, "Everyone is going to be on different stages of the cycle, I guess accepting it, maybe denying it. Everyone is going to take their own time and like you said it's only been 24 hours, some people my still be numb so were going to have to be together for each other."

"I think the average person who is 18 to 20 years old is not really thinking about that kind of loss they are thinking about, the things that most college students are thinking about, so I think it is kind of hard to balance worrying about football games and parties and school and dating and that kind of thing and then realizing you are dealing with something as tragic as a loss," said Marc Showalter with the University Counseling Center.

Showalter spoke with members of KA, letting them know of the counseling services that are available if they need them.

"There is not an answer. We're not going to do anything to stop this from being a reality, but we want them to be honest with their feelings, especially young men. They have a tendency to not want to appear weak or talk about their feelings, so we encourage them to do that, encourage them to lean on each other for support."

The three were incoming freshman at Ole Miss. They attended Madison Central High School near Jackson, Mississippi. Their visitation and funeral will be held together at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison.

"KA isn't a place where you go and just drink on the weekend. It's not an organization that just goes and has fun. It's a family and we support our family, we love our family, when something happens we go down there because we are a family," said Hollingsworth.

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