OSU Sorority Mourns Loss Of Sister
STILLWATER, Oklahoma - The OSU community still mourning the death of student who died last week while on a Spring Break trip in Alabama. The man accused of hitting her with his car is out on bond.
Friday will mark one week since 19-year-old Kasey Waychoff, a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, was struck and killed in Alabama. Her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta says support has been pouring in all over for Kasey.
"It's hard to lose her, it's really hard. Nobody expects people who are, you know, 20 years old to lose their best friend, especially, so quickly," said close friend and sorority sister, Haley Kiefer.
Those who knew Kasey are still trying to process the sudden loss, especially her 208 sorority sisters of Gamma Phi Beta on campus at Oklahoma State.
"Surreal, it doesn't feel real yet to me at all," Kiefer said. "We were in the same recruitment rush group and on bid day we all ran to library lawn, and we ran to the house together holding hands, and that was my first memory of Kasey. Ever since then we were two doors down from each other and very close."
It was with her Gamma Phi sisters on Spring Break in Gulf Shores, Ala., when 29-year-old Justin Lott allegedly drifted off the road and struck and killed Kasey as she was walking. Investigators say Lott fled the scene, but police caught up with him 15 minutes later with front end damage to his black Chevy truck.
Sorority sister and OSU sophomore Bria Colgan says only a few of the 36 Gamma Phi girls were walking with Kasey that night during the accident. They all rushed to the scene later and were with her at the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"I was there when it happened and in the hospital, it was very difficult. I never experienced anything like that," said Colgan, who served on Gamma Phi's executive board with Kasey and was expected to be her roommate the upcoming semester.
"We're all pretty traumatized by that, but luckily we were all together and we've been together ever since."
The OSU community has shown tremendous support. A packed memorial was held on campus in Kasey's honor Wednesday night.
Ival Gregory, manager of OSU's Fraternity & Sorority Affairs says OSU President Burns Hargis gave remarks, and about 30 members of Kasey's family were present, including Kasey's brother, Wes Waychoff, a senior at OSU in Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Wes Waychoff tweeted, "I'm so touched by everyone who came to celebrate Kasey's amazing life. I know she's looking down and smiling on us right now."
Gregory says the siblings were really close and Wes just got into med school. He says as the Gamma Phi girls walked from their sorority on 3rd Ave. to the memorial in the Union Atrium, several other sororities and fraternities joined in and walked with them.
"The students that I've come in contact with both prior to that event last night and then looking forward even this morning. They're working though the grieving process," Gregory said. "And it's just that it's a little bit of a reality check because people this age don't expect things to happen like this."
At the Gamma Phi House, there are dozens of bouquets, signs and photo collages of Kasey dotting each room.
"She lit up the room, her smile is undeniably the best smile you've ever seen, her dimples, and when she walked in the room she was just full of laughter. She was very real and easy to talk to and had so many friends," Colgan said.
With each card and flower, the sisters remember Kasey.
"She didn't like to be the center of attention," Kiefer said. "So it's really nice to see her being spoken about how she really was and how great she really was."
Both the OSU Foundation and Gamma Phi Beta have scholarships planned in Kasey's honor.
Kasey's funeral will be held in her hometown of Flower Mound, Texas at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church on Friday at 2 p.m. OSU has made arraignments for six busses to take more than 300 students to attend the service. Gamma Phi Beta and members of Sigma Phi Epsilon will leave campus around 8 a.m.
The suspect, Justin Lott, was arrested for manslaughter and driving under the influence. He is out on $140,000 bail, but is due back in court in Baldwin County in Alabama on May 9.