By The Associated Press
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Those killed in Saturday’s deadly crash during Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade include a husband and wife with long ties to the university, the 2-year-old son of an OSU student, and a student from India who was working on her master’s degree at a university in Edmond. The crash also injured 46 other people, including many children.
Marvin Stone, 65, spent 24 years as a professor in OSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. He retired in 2006 but continued to conduct research as an emeritus professor in the areas of sensors, electronic communications and control systems. Stone earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University before earning a doctorate from Washington State University in 1982.
In the early 2000s, Stone and two other OSU professors invented a device called the “GreenSeeker.” It uses sensors to determine how healthy a plant is by detecting its biomass and chlorophyll content, and how much fertilizer the plant needs.
“He was loved by students and one of the best teachers we had,” said Ron Elliott, the former head of the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department at OSU. “He just really had a gift for connecting with students and helping them learn.”
Stone’s wife Bonnie, who was also 65, worked in OSU’s Institutional Research and Information Management division and had been with the school for more than 33 years.
“She was the guru on campus for our software system that keeps track of student records, class enrollment, that type of thing,” Elliott said. “She and Marvin were partners for life. They were best friends, and whenever you saw them in town they were virtually always together, whether it was a basketball game or the farmer’s market.”
Nikita Nakal, a 23-year-old student from Mumbai, India, was getting an MBA at the University of Central Oklahoma and was at the homecoming parade with some friends. One of her Central Oklahoma professors, Donna Carlon, described Nakal as friendly and focused.
“She always had a smile on her face, no matter what was going on, and she was the first one to say hello or ask a question,” Carlon said. “She wanted to be a financial analyst in the banking world, and she was quite focused, as are many of our international students.”
Nash Lucas, age 2, was at the parade with his mother, Nicolette Strauch, who is a 20-year-old OSU sophomore majoring in chemical engineering. Strauch, who is from Weatherford, was injured in the crash and received treatment at a hospital before being released, police said.
Strauch works in the university’s parking and transit department, where her colleagues set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money to pay for her medical bills and her son’s funeral services. More than $42,000 had been raised by Monday afternoon.
“Nicolette Strauch is an OSU student-employee devastated by the loss of her two-year-old son Nash,” OSU President Burns Hargis said in a statement.
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