Charges filed in crash that killed 3 JMU students

Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-05 21:37:30-04

HARDY COUNTY, W.Va. — Campbell Fortune, of Richmond, one of five James Madison University students in a car that crashed February 2 near the Virginia-West Virginia line, has been charged in connection with the crash that killed three classmates.

Fortune, 19, was formally charged with negligent homicide (3x), reckless driving, underage possession of beer, no proof of insurance, and speeding. The charges were filed on May 15.

A misdemeanor negligent homicide charge in West Virginia carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

Sheriff's investigators shared the students were at a club prior to the crash but Fortune was not driving while intoxicated, Hardy County Sheriff Steven Dawson said.

"Upon arrival, deputies were able to determine the involved vehicle had been traveling south before leaving the roadway and striking a tree," a Hardy County Sheriff's Office spokesperson wrote in a February email about the crash. "The road condition at the time was dry and atmospheric conditions clear. The were no signs of skid or yaw marks noted on the roadway surface indicating any type of evasive actions and no indications of an animal being struck."

John “Luke” Fergusson (sophomore, majoring in media arts and design from Richmond), Nicholas Troutman (sophomore, majoring in business management from Richmond), and Joshua Mardis (sophomore, majoring in communication studies from Williamsburg), all 19, were killed in the crash.

Fortune was injured in the crash.

His next court date has not been set yet.

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