Former Comets tennis and track star Elizabeth Sturges was among the victims of the Nov. 28 attack at Ohio State University, the school has confirmed.
The 20-year-old was rammed when Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan barrelled across campus in his car. She sustained minor injuries.
“I was hit by the silver car this morning at Ohio State. The mirror of the car swiped me and hit my hip, and I was a little scuffed from a tire on my foot,” she told friends on Facebook.”
She was quickly discharged from the emergency room and her hip should be fine within a couple of weeks, she wrote.
Amherst track coach Terry Kemp remembered Sturges as “wonderful, bright, very kind, very generous” and someone who “would do anything for anyone.”
When he first learned of Artan’s rampage, which included a knife attack that left 13 wounded, Kemp said he immediately thought of Sturges: “We know a pretty fair number of kids down there at OSU. Of course, you’re immediately thinking, ‘Gosh, is there someone we knew there?’”
Brett Thompson, who also coaches Comets runners, had Sturges in AP English class. He described her as humble, down to earth, and always thinking of others.
“I was shocked when I heard about it,” he said of his former student’s injuries. “I was floored when I heard it was her because she is probably the kindest person I’ve known in my life… I’m so glad she’s OK because she’s the kind of girl who’s going to change the world.”
Sturges, a sophomore, is studying material science and engineering at OSU. Kemp said her extended family is from Columbus.
Artan was shot and killed by a campus police officer. Investigators later said he was inspired by Islamic State propaganda, and before the attack Artan had posted online that he was angry about Muslims being tortured and killed.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack but no evidence directly links the terrorist group to Artan.
In addition to Sturges, the list of victims at OSU includes:
• Anderson Payne, 28, of Galloway, Ohio, moderate injury.
• Keria Straughsbaugh, 27, of Columbus, Ohio, moderate injury.
• Kaylee Hoffner, 22, of Batavia, Ill., moderate injury.
• Anthony DiCocco, 21, of Dublin, Ohio, apparent broken bones, moderate injuries, and possible internal injury.
• Kristopher Waninger, 21, of Dublin, Ohio, apparent broken bones, minor injury.
• Marc Coons, 29, of Columbus, Ohio, moderate injury.
• Katherine Schultz, 19, of South Park, Pa., moderate injury.
• Pavel Sergeev, 23, of Russia, moderate injury.
• Professor William Clark, 68, apparent broken bones, moderate injury.
• Theron Ellinger, age unlisted, non-student, injuries unlisted.
• Linda Rager, 20, of Katy, Texas, minor injury.
• Max Wieneke, 21, of Berea, Ohio, minor injury.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Courtesy of LifeTouch Elizabeth Sturges is shown here in her 2014 senior photo. She graduated from Amherst Steele High School.