Mary Lee Clark
The Radford University flag was lowered to half-staff on April 25 in honor of 19-year-old Radford student Wilson Herrarte who died in Richmond on April 23 when a vehicle struck and killed him at the intersection of S. Belvidere and Cumberland streets at 1:03 a.m.
According to the Richmond Police Department, a group of pedestrians were crossing the road despite a red “do not walk” signal. A vehicle ahead of a Volkswagen Jetta stopped to avoid hitting the group.
As the Jetta approached the intersection, the group of pedestrians emerged from in front of the stopped vehicle. The driver of the Jetta had changed lanes to avoid hitting the stopped vehicle and swerved to avoid hitting the group. As a result, the right-front of the vehicle struck Herrarte. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Herrarte, a Fairfax native, was a freshman at Radford University. He had yet to declare a major.
Shortly after Herrarte’s death, a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for funeral funds. With a set goal of $10,000, the fund was just short of $20,000 in donations after just four days.
“We are all at a loss for words. We loved Wilson with all of our hearts. He was the most loving, genuine and caring person in the world, and we are devastated that he is no longer with us today,” wrote the page’s creator, Aubrey Herr-Chowdhury, on the GoFundMe page. “However, we know his kind spirit will always be with us.”
The Radford Student Government Association held a candlelight vigil walk last week to honor Herrarte’s life. Attendees were given glow sticks and shared memories about their classmate.
Grief counseling is available to Radford students, faculty and staff throughout the remainder of the year.
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