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Penn State Canners Involved In Fatal Accident Returning To State College

Penn State students heading back to State College after this weekend’s canning trip were involved in a single-car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near King of Prussia traveling westbound by the Valley Forge interchange. According to the Associated Press, the accident included one fatality. That person’s identity has not been released. According to Onward State sources, students involved in the accident were with the sorority Alpha Chi Omega and fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Sargent Frank Ball of Penn State Police confirmed that the students were from Penn State but could not provide any other details of the accident, which is still under investigation. The students were taken to Paoli Hospital. A release from the Pennsylvania Turnpike says that the accident included an overturned vehicle and that injuries were sustained, although the condition of those injuries has not been released.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved. We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

UPDATE (5:05 p.m.): Spokeswoman Lisa Powers confirmed that one female was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene. Powers said that the six other canners in the vehicle were treated at the hospital for injuries, that from what she understands, were not life-threatening, and that these students may be released soon.

UPDATE (8:04 p.m.): Vitalya “Tally” Sepot was identified as the student killed in the accident. She was a sophomore majoring in graphic design. The other six students in the vehicle were also named: Victoria Barrett, Sarah Bixby, Claire Fountas, Matthew Hrynkow, Brooke Kalodner, and Max Titlebaum. Our thoughts are with all of their families.

UPDATE (8:19 p.m.): THON released a statement tonight acknowledging the accident and offering its condolences. “We are terribly saddened by this accident and our hearts are with the friends and family of Tally as well as other students who were involved in the accident,” said 2016 THON Executive Director Katie Mailey. “The loss of one of our volunteers and the injury of others is a tragedy and we know this will be felt throughout our community. No words can express our sorrow when learning of this accident and of Tally’s passing. We will do all that we can to honor her memory and dedication to THON. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of individuals directly involved. This is a difficult time for many.”

UPDATE (8:40 p.m.): “Today, our hearts are broken by the loss of Vitalya “Tally” Sepot,” Penn State Panhellenic Council said in a statement this evening. “Our greatest condolences go out to [Sepot’s] family, friends, and the entire Beta Mu chapter of Alpha Chi Omega during this difficult time.”

UPDATE (10:23 p.m.): The Interfraternity Council (IFC) released a statement this evening regarding the tragic loss of a member of Penn State’s Greek community. “The IFC extends our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the tragic loss of Tally Sepot. This impacts not only the Fraternity and Sorority community, but Penn State as a whole,” the statement reads. “We wish a quick recovery to those injured, and offer our deepest condolences to Tally’s family and all those mourning the loss of a beloved friend.”

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.


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