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  • If you work in PA, please read!!!

    Posted on November 27, 2007 12:59 AM

    Graduate student dies in car accident

    A Penn State student died near the University Park Airport when a car struck her vehicle, police said.

    A 23-year-old Penn State student was killed Sunday night leaving the University Park Airport, Pennsylvania State Police said.

    Sarah Louise Beard, of Plymouth, Minn., who was struck by a vehicle just after 9:45 p.m. as she pulled onto Fox Hollow Road, was pronounced dead at the scene by Centre County Deputy Coroner Brian Burns, police said.

    Beard, who was a graduate student studying restaurant, park and tourism management (RPTM), was interested specifically in health and leisure.

    "What can you say about how tragic this is?" RPTM professor Linda Caldwell said.

    "Everything seems so trivial and trite."

    Beard was a research assistant for Caldwell and was working on a project to provide after-school activities for middle school children in Harrisburg.

    Caldwell described Beard as "extremely smart" and " a joy to have as an assistant."

    "She was a bright star and was going to have a bright life," she said.

    Yesterday, the RPTM department used a graduate class, which most of Beard's peers were attending, as a forum to discuss Beard's life, assistant professor Mark Ivy said.

    Ivy said he first met Beard when she came to visit the campus, describing her as "very inquisitive, enthusiastic and caring."

    She was focusing on the link between health and leisure to "try to make people's lives better," he said.

    Fellow graduate student Toni Liechty said that Beard was always excited to learn.

    She was someone that was "really fun and cheerful -- everyone always liked to have her around," he said.

    A press release issued by Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers said Beard died of chest trauma she suffered in the accident.

    Beard's passenger, whose condition remains unknown, was taken to Altoona Hospital.

    The police report does not state if the driver of the second vehicle, Scott L. Ripka, of Bellefonte, was treated for injuries.

    All three individuals involved were wearing seatbelts, police said.

    If you responded to this call, or know any information about it, would you contact me via PM. I want to know some details that I have not be able to find out. Her and I were close friends, went to HS together, etc...

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