As Tragedy Strikes, Community Responds
Kym Kemp / Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 @ 10:33 a.m. / Culture
Gateway to Tomorrow
Yesterday’s hit and run tragedy struck many in the community with a need to respond—to do something positive and heartfelt. The running community immediately began to organize a memorial run. However, the family asked that be put on hold for the time being.
This morning, Humboldt State University President, Rollin C. Richmond, sent out a letter (see below) that offered not only high praise for Suzanne Seemann, the HSU instructor who was killed, but offered grief assistance from the University’s Counseling Center.
And, in what may be the most lasting memorial to the runner, a series of community meetings have been planned to address the safety situation on Old Arcata Road. Maggie Gainer, a community development specialist, explains, “We have no other option; we must walk, bike, or drive on Old Arcata Road to get anywhere else —including safer trails.”
The Old Arcata Road Neighborhoods Safety Initiative has scheduled two meetings at the Bayside Grange Hall. The hope is that the meetings will result in improvements to the safety along Old Arcata Road. The first is scheduled for Thursday, October 4, 7-9PM after Zumba and the next is for Sunday, October 7, 2-4PM. Residents dependent on Old Arcata Road are urged to attend at least one of the meetings.
UPDATED Times: The Old Arcata Road Neighborhoods Safety Initiative meetings hosted by the Bayside Grange Hall have been postponed. The next one will be Thursday, November 8th in the Grange Hall’s large kitchen, 7:00-9:00PM.
HSU President Rollin C. Richmond’s letter:
Yesterday was a sad and tragic day for the Humboldt State University community.
Suzanne Seemann, an instructor in our Department of Geography, was killed by an automobile while she was out on a morning run. Two others who were running with her were critically injured and hospitalized, and one jogger’s dog was struck and killed.
This is a terrible loss for our University. On behalf of our entire community, I would like to express our deepest condolences to Suzanne’s family, her friends and her students. Our thoughts are with them at this most difficult time, and we are here to support them in any way possible.
Suzanne joined our faculty in 2011, after previously teaching at College of the Redwoods. She held degrees from Princeton, University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a specialist in oceanic and atmospheric sciences.
Suzanne’s colleagues in the Department of Geography have shared with me their keen sorrow at her loss. They describe her as an extraordinarily talented and popular instructor, one who will be sorely missed.
Family members, colleagues and students were being notified throughout the day yesterday. Counseling and other services have been offered, and anyone seeking support may contact the Counseling Center on campus at 826-3236.
Rollin C. Richmond