July 2, 2007
By Tom Bosco
The Ohio University community is mourning the loss of a student who was found dead Sunday afternoon in the Hocking River after he apparently was struck in a two-car accident while he was walking across the Richland Avenue bridge the night before.
The Athens Police Department is leading an investigation into the death of Abhishek Singh, 22, of India.
"This is a tremendous loss to our university community. Our thoughts are with his family during this time of tragedy," said Krista McCallum Beatty, interim director of International Student and Faculty Services.
Police say a vehicle northbound on Richland Avenue failed to stop at the traffic light and was struck by another vehicle traveling east on Ohio 682. The northbound vehicle traveled onto the sidewalk, apparently striking Singh. Officers and witnesses at the scene were unaware of Singh's involvement in the crash until Sunday.
Singh, of Faizabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, came to Ohio University in fall 2006 to work on a Ph.D. in physics. Friends say he took his education seriously and worked hard.
"He was a studious guy," said Santosh Vijapur, treasurer of the Indian Student Association. "He would go to the lab early in the morning and come home late at night."
"He liked Athens and Ohio University," Vijapur added. "He liked the faculty and friends he made here."
Sunny Mishra, one of Singh's roommates, said that although Singh planned to become a scientist, he had a deep intellectual curiosity that extended beyond science.
"He would research everything, not just physics but other subjects as well, especially history. He was always searching," Mishra said.
Ohio University officials assisted in identifying the student and notifying Singh's family. They immediately made counselors available to Singh's roommates, and will provide counseling support as needed who may be affected by Singh's death.
Beatty stressed that members of her office are available to any student who needs assistance during this time. The office is located at Baker University Center 348.
"We're deeply saddened by Abhishek's death," said Dean of Students Terry Hogan. "We've learned a lot about his impact on the campus. He was a great friend to many and well-respected in the university community."
Hogan said Student Affairs is working with students, faculty and staff on plans for a campus memorial service.
The accident remains under investigation by the Athens Police Department, which is being assisted by the Ohio University Police Department, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Athens County Prosecutor's Office. The Athens County Coroner's Office has ordered an autopsy.