Twenty-year-old Walla Walla University student Madison Baird has been airlifted to a Seattle, Washington hospital after being hit by a motor vehicle while riding her bicycle this afternoon.
Baird, a sophomore at WWU, was seen at The Atlas—the student-run coffee shop on campus—before heading outside to get on her on her bike. Baird was wearing a bright orange, reflective safety vest.
Sometime during her ride on Whitman Avenue, Baird and a vehicle collided. College Place police, ambulances, and fire trucks swarmed the street and shut down the entire area to the public. Details of how the accident occurred remain unknown.
Baird was first taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center Hospital, one of the hospitals in Walla Walla, and then was airlifted to Seattle to be treated for her extensive injuries.
WWU President John McVay sent this email out to WWU student body at staff at 7:32 p.m.
Late this afternoon a Walla Walla University student, Madison Baird, was involved in a bicycle-vehicle accident west of College Place. Madison’s injuries are very serious, and she is being airlifted to Seattle for care. We invite you, her campus family, to keep her in your prayers, along with her family, roommates and many friends. Conard Chapel is now open and staffed for any who wish to gather for mutual support and prayer. As significant developments occur, we will keep you informed. Thank you for your prayers on Madison’s behalf.”
Many current and former WWU students and staff have taken to Facebook to rally support and prayers for their friend.
Alumnus Nicole Spady posted, “Prayers appreciated for my friend Madison who is in critical condition after being hit by a truck while riding her bike. I believe God can do powerful things through prayer. She's an incredible girl who has touched my life and many others. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – ‘Never stop praying’”
Student Karl Wallenkampf wrote, “I would like to encourage all of you to pray for my friend Madison, who was traumatically injured by a car while she rode her bicycle near Walla Walla University. She has been flown to Seattle for intensive care. In every one of my interactions with her, she has been the change I want to see in the world. I pray that her blessing to this world continues.”
WWU Professor Rosemarie Buck said, “Please pray for a WWU student who was hit by a car this afternoon while she was on her bike. It's a critical situation. We need thousands praying!”
Those who know Baird describe her as active and friendly. She loves spending time outdoors and is planning to study in Argentina next school year in the Adventist Colleges Abroad Program. She is a graduate of Walla Walla Valley Academy, and according to her Facebook profile, worked at Big Lake Youth Camp in Oregon during the summer. She also worked at Walla Walla University's Health Services.
We will update this news story as more details become available.
Rachel Logan is a writing intern for Spectrum Magazine.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6622