Washington Post

Oklahoma State, faced with another tragedy, prays for healing


By Bobby Ross Jr. | For The Washington Post

People in this college town grieved again Sunday.

It was about four years after a plane crash killed two women’s basketball coaches and almost 15 years after 10 people died when a plane carrying members and coaches of the men’s basketball team went down.

And it was one day after four people were killed when a woman drove her car into a crowd gathered to celebrate Oklahoma State University’s homecoming football game. Five of the 47 who were injured at the parade were listed in critical condition Sunday.

Worshipers prayed at regular Sunday morning services, and people brought flowers to a makeshift memorial erected at the crash site. They counted on faith and their neighbors to again help them heal.

After a sleepless Saturday night, Anthony Wyatt came to the memorial, the place where he had seen the 2014 Hyundai Elantra speed through the intersection. Wyatt was on a float for his construction firm, based in Ponca City, Okla., about an hour north of Stillwater.

“I can’t get it out of my head,” he said. “It’s horrible — innocent people. It’s not fair. It’s not right.”

About 46,000 people live in this town about 65 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. But the population swells on fall Saturdays when the Cowboys are in town, as thousands of people hold picnics or tailgate parties. The stadium seats 60,000 and usually sells out, and people who can’t get seats watch the game at local bars such as Eskimo Joe’s.

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This story appears on the front page of the Oct. 26, 2015, edition of The Washington Post.

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