Ohio Wesleyan University Student Killed Returning Home From Spring Break


UPDATED: Sunday March 18, 2012 10:20 AM

Ohio Wesleyan University officials said Jake Von Der Vellen, 19, was killed in a crash along Interstate 77 on his way home from spring break on Friday, 10TV News reported Saturday.

Von Der Vellen was a passenger in the car, driven by fellow student Vince Donofrio, who was injured when the car veered off the road and struck trees. His condition is not yet known.

Von Der Vellen was a sophomore at OWU and was president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

According to a member of the fraternity, the two went to surprise their girlfriends who were on spring break in North Carolina.

One of Von Der Vellen's fraternity brothers also said he was part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and headed up a Relay for Life team to raise money for cancer research.

"Jake was a huge inspiration to a lot of people. He really worked hard became the president of Sig Ep and he was a huge presence on campus," Wes Barnes, Von Der Vellen's friend, said. "It will really hurt a lot to miss him. He was a great guy, great worker, great friend."

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Sunday night on campus.

The university issued a statement saying thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both Von Der Hellen and Donofrio.

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