Campus mourns death of sophomore Caitlin Yager

caitlin-yagerThe entire Marietta College community is saddened to learn of the tragic death of student Caitlin Yager, who died in an early morning traffic accident in Wakeman Township in Huron County, Ohio, on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013.

Yager, who was born Jan. 28, 1994, was 19.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Caitlin and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, some of them who were also injured in the accident today,” said President Joseph W. Bruno. “Marietta College is a close and caring community and I know Caitlin’s death will affect everyone who came into contact with her.”

According to the Youngstown Vindicator, Yager was the only fatality in the two-vehicle accident on U.S. Route 20 west of Fitchville River Road. The newspaper said she was riding in the back seat of a 2003 Chrysler Concord.

Yager ran cross country the past two seasons for the Pioneers and coach George Evans said her death was a shock to him and members of the team.

“Caitlin embodied all the characteristics we want in a Marietta student. She was engaged and involved in athletics, Student Senate and as a peer and orientation leader,” Evans said. “She was extremely goal oriented and strived to get better in all aspects every day. She was full of wit and sarcasm and her personality made her a joy to coach and a great teammate and friend.”

Yager was a member of the Honors Program, Student Alumni Association and the Sigma Kappa sorority. Dr. Bob Pastoor, Vice President for Student Life, said Yager was planning to study abroad this spring. She was majoring in History.

Student Senate President Jessica Johnson ’14 (Johnstown, Ohio) said Thursday was a tough day as she and friends discussed the tragedy.

“Caitlin was one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She was full of life, was so funny, and a true friend. One of her favorite hobbies was baking and she could always be caught in the Sigma Kappa kitchen baking for someone, something, or because she said it was her therapy,” Johnson said. “One night at Senate, for attendance we always ask questions to see who is there and the question was ‘who did you wish you were?’ Now everyone was saying presidents, athletes or celebrities and Caitlin came up with the best answer ever. She said she would be Betty Crocker, except she (Caitlin) didn’t use mixes so she was better then Betty. We were all cracking up.”

During the final Senate meeting in the fall, the other members gave Yager the “Better than Betty” award for her service. “And for bringing us the best cookies to snack on that were better than Betty’s.

For our last meeting of the fall, since Caitlin was going to study abroad in the spring we decided to give her the "Better then Betty" award for her service to Senate and for always bringing us the best cookies to snack on that were better then Betty's. She was so sweet, always thinking of others,” Johnson said.

Funeral arrangements are still pending. In a statement to campus, President Bruno said the College will “look for an appropriate way to honor Caitlin,” once students and faculty return to campus after the holiday break.

TOM PERRY

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