Two students killed in automobile accident

Two Eastern Michigan University students, Jordan Hopkins, 23, and Shannise Heady, 21, were killed in an automobile accident on Hewitt Road north of Michigan Avenue early Sunday morning, EMU said in a statement today.

Heady, a junior from Hazel Crest, Ill., was a forward on the women’s basketball team. She was majoring in health care and administration.

She transferred from Seton Hall University in New Jersey for the 2013-14 basketball season.

Hopkins, a senior from Dexter, was in the Honors College and majoring in psychology.

According to a statement from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, the students were heading northbound on Hewitt Road when their vehicle crossed the center line and collided head on with a southbound vehicle. Heady was driving when the collision occurred and Hopkins was her passenger. 

Heady and Hopkins were pronounced dead on the scene.

The driver of the southbound vehicle, a 22-year-old male resident of Ann Arbor, was transported to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office spokesman said that a toxicology test will be administered, but at this time there is no evidence that confirms whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the cause of the accident.

"I didn't have the pleasure to know Jordan and Shannise, but its clear the impact they made at EMU as I talk to people who knew them best," Student Government president Desmond Miller said. "EMU is feeling a deep loss from the death of these two who were taken too soon."

The head coach of the women's basketball team, Tory Verdi, commented on the loss of his player.

"Obviously this is one of our toughest days as a program and for the entire Eagle Nation as we mourn the loss of Shannise," he said in a statement released by EMU athletics. "No words can describe the feelings right now as we are truly devastated to learn of her passing. Shannise was not only an inspiration to all of us, but she brought energy and liveliness to our team. She was a true joy to coach and has left an everlasting impression not only on me but the rest of our team as well. She will be missed greatly."

Vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at EMU Heather Lyke said the athletics department is "deeply saddened" by the loss of Heady.

"Our prayers for peace are with them. Shannise lit up the room with her personality and smile and will be missed in our locker room and the department," she said.

Natalie Dove, one of Hopkins's professors in the Honors College said she was, "deeply saddened by the news of Jordan's passing."

"She was one of those students who had it all: a zest for life and a personality that just warmed any heart and room, but also the makings of someone who had great academic and career potential," Dove said. "She was dedicated, organized and always on a quest to do more to further her learning. I enjoyed working with her as her research mentor and classroom instructor. She was such a gifted individual. My heart goes out to her family during this difficult time."

"We are so deeply saddened by the loss in our EMU family. Our thoughts are with Jordan's and Shannise's families and friends," said John Feldkamp, Associate Director of the Honors College.

Hopkins's high school principal, William Moran of Dexter High School, said Hopkins was very well-liked by her fellow students in Dexter. She was also a member of the DHS women's soccer team.

“This is a tragic loss,” president Susan Martin said in the university’s statement. “We send our thoughts and prayers to Jordan’s and Shannise’s families and friends at this difficult time.”

This is a developing story. The Echo will provide more information as it becomes available.


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