Woman hit and killed by car on BYU campus

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PROVO -- A Provo woman died after being hit by a car on the campus of Brigham Young University.

Jessica Wilson, 28, was crossing North Campus Drive near the BYU bell tower with a friend around 8 p.m. Sunday night when police say a distracted driver hit them both.

BYU police Lt. Arne Lemmon says the 27-year-old driver thought he heard someone honking at him so he turned toward the sound. That's when investigators say the car hit the women.

Wilson, a 2009 BYU graduate, died on the way to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where she had recently completed an internship. She was a social worker at Wasatch Mental Health.

The second woman is from Estonia and was visiting Jessica's roommate. She sustained critical injuries and is being treated at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. She is expected to recover, but will need several surgeries.

Lemmon also says witness report that the man had a green light while the two women were in the crosswalk; police believe they crossed on a red light.

BYU police have not cited the driver involved in the accident. They are still investigating, but say they have ruled out drugs or alcohol as being a factor in the accident. BYU police are now looking into the cell phone records of the driver.

Victim mourned by friends and family

Tuesday, Jessica's family is remembering her as someone who cared about everyone.

"She was very giving and never selfish. She was always thinking about other people and what she could do to help people," said Jessica's sister, Amber Kent. "She was a social worker and she loved her job. She loved that she made a difference in people's lives and I think she was driven to do that."

Jessica's family said she had served an LDS mission to the Baltic States and was fluent in Russian.

They are finding solace in the fact that Jessica was an organ donor.

Funeral services for Jessica are planned for this Saturday in her hometown of Rexburg, Idaho. Her friends in Provo are working to organize a 5K in her honor, sometime in October.

Update: The race will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 8 a.m. The address is an LDS Stake Center at 800 E 800 South Orem, UT. There is a registration fee of $15. Pre-register online at www.raceforejess.blogspot.com, or simply register on the day of the race.

Volunteers needed to help with the race. For questions or to volunteer, e-mail raceforjess@gmail.com.


Story compiled with contributions from Sam Penrod, Randall Jeppesen and Nkoyo Iyamba.

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