Student dies in Virginia crash

One Temple student is dead and others are injured after a crash on a Virginia highway around 2:30 a.m.

Image courtesy Kammini Ragoopath's MySpace page.
Image courtesy Kammini Ragoopath's MySpace page.

Kammini “Mini” Ragoopath, 21, a sophomore kinesiology major and member of the Bhangra dance team, and fellow team members were en route to a competition in Durham, N.C. when the “fatigued” driver of their van lost control of the vehicle on Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County, Va., according to Virginia State Police. The van hit the left guardrail before the driver over-corrected, hitting the right guardrail, police said. Ragoopath, of Lansdale, Pa., and another passenger who were sitting in the last row of seats in the van, were both ejected from the vehicle onto the highway. Ragoopath was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other ejected victim was flown by Virginia State Police to Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital in Richmond, Va. for treatment of serious injuries.

Five other passengers and the driver, 20-year-old Bilal Badruddin of Cranford, N.J., sustained minor injuries and were transported by ambulance to Southside Regional Hospital in Petersburg, Va., police said.

Badruddin was charged with reckless driving and is scheduled to appear in court in Virginia April 29.

Amid the tragedy, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart released a statement urging members of the Bhangra dance team as well as any other students affected by Ragoopath’s death to seek help through the Student Affairs Office and Tuttleman Counseling Services.

“The loss of a member of our community is never easy and the sudden death of one of our students is particularly heartbreaking,” Hart’s statement read. “I have asked the Provost to ensure that the University’s resources are available to Kammini’s friends and all those associated with the Temple University Bhangra group.”

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