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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 23, 2012, 10:24 PM

NDSU community gathers to mourn, remember students killed in accident

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The NDSU community is coming together at this hour to honor four young women who lost their lives on a snow covered road near Alexandria. Lauren Peterson, Jordan Playle, Danielle Renninger and Megan Sample died Monday in a three-vehicle crash on I-94. All were from the Twin Cities.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

The NDSU community is coming together at this hour to honor four young women who lost their lives on a snow covered road near Alexandria. Lauren Peterson, Jordan Playle, Danielle Renninger and Megan Sample died Monday in a three-vehicle crash on I-94. All were from the Twin Cities.

It has been a difficult week in the wake of that devastating tragedy. Three days after the crash, the community continues to mourn. This candlelight vigil is just beginning on campus.

It caps off a night of remembrance at NDSU. The outpouring of support is simply overwhelming. About 800 students, staff, even strangers gathered for a memorial inside the union earlier this evening. Friends of the four freshmen organized the somber program.

Mourners signed condolences to each family. Many then prayed, held each other, and listened to students talk about the loss or share memories of the victims.

Dean Bresciani – NDSU President: “What we should most remember is that our lives and that our university and this world were touched and made better by these four women in a very special way and that we must never, ever forget.”

Cam Knutson – NDSU Student Body President: “And in light of the tragic circumstances these women have left us an even bigger gift - is the NDSU community and Bison family have never been more united and never been stronger.”

Many of those at the memorial moved outside for this vigil. People here lighting candles, hugging, and staying silent. All a tribute to the lives lost and way to find comfort on campus. This vigil goes until 11, just on the east patio of the Union. Funerals for the girls are tomorrow and Saturday in the Twin Cities area.

Much of the NDSU campus has been packed with people donning purple all day long, all in remembrance of the girls. It's part of a tribute started by one of the victims' high schools. Fellow students and staff put purple to the test.

Throughout the entire day, we captured jackets, shirts, even headbands - all the color of purple. Some mourners did not know the crash victims, but are showing their support anyway. The tragedy has visibly shaken this tight knit community.

Tara Freed – NDSU Graduate Student: “This is something that affects all of us. This is something that I'm doing to show how we've now realized how short life can be and how quickly this can happen.”

There was a moment of silence for the students at tonight's men's basketball game.

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