National Institute on Aging

Tragedy Strikes the Campus of Claflin University in South Carolina

Claflin_LogoIt is with great sadness that we report that four African Americans who were students at Claflin University, the historically Black educational institution in Orangeburg, South Carolina, died in a tragic automobile accident on Interstate 77 in Columbia, South Carolina. A fifth Claflin student was injured in the crash.

Killed in the crash were Melvin Lonell Jackson Jr., a senior from Chester, South Carolina; Darrell Renard Pendergrass, a senior from Society Hill, South Carolina; Keeron Q. McElveen, a freshman from Kingstree, South Carolina; and Jamarius Kel’Shawn Bruce, a freshman from Darlington, South Carolina. All four students were majoring in sports management at Claflin University.

Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University, stated “We are hurting and are saddened to hear about the untimely death of four of our students. I call upon the Claflin family to draw closer together and remain strong as we try to comprehend the loss of these members of our Claflin family.”


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