Vigil held at JMU for crash victims

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:52 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:54 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Strength and sorrow filled the James Madison University campus on Sunday as the university held a candlelight vigil to honor the three students killed in a crash Thursday.

The JMU community came together on Wilson steps to mourn the loss of friends that were like family.

“We’ve known each other since kindergarten. You will forever be in our hearts thank you for the memories you gave to everyone,” Charlie Polk, longtime friend of Luke Fergusson said.

WHSV reports that the incident happened on West Virginia Route 259 near the West Virginia-Virginia border Thursday night.

On Friday, the school identified the three young men killed. John “Luke” Fergusson, a sophomore majoring in arts and design and Nicholas Troutman, a sophomore majoring in business management, are both from Richmond. The third young man was identified as Joshua Mardis, a sophomore majoring in communication studies from Williamsburg.

They were all sophmores at JMU and fraternity brothers.

During the vigil, several friends of the victims paid tribute by sharing kind words and fond memories.

“Luke was my best friend for as long as I can remember. Our friendship continued through middle school high school into JMU,” Robert Hancock, a longtime friend of Luk Fergusson said.

Many of those who took the podium reflected on memories of growing up together in Richmond.

“Nick and I go pretty far back. We met when we were seventh graders at middle school football tryouts. Nick was a jokester and a goofball. He was also our friend groups voice of reason. He always made sure everyone was safe included, and having a good time,” Trip Fishburne, the best friend of Nick Troutman said.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Tim Miller shared statements on behalf of the victims families.

“We miss his loving gentle spirit was so infectious sense of humor and sick dance skills,” Miller said.

The crash remains under investigation, and there’s no word on the condition of the two surviving students.