Kent State student dies following Alabama crash

Rebecca Reis

Four others returning from spring break injured

Editor’s note: This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

Updated: Monday 2:10 p.m.

A Kent State student died Sunday from injuries sustained in a car accident on I-65 in Alabama Saturday in which four other Kent State students were also injured. The student, senior accounting major Joseph Marino, was a passenger in a 2001 Ford with the other students, who were returning from spring break.

According to social media reports the car in which Marino was traveling rolled over at least twice. Trooper Charles Dysart of the Alabama Department of Public Safety said Marino was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle; he was airlifted from the scene to a Montgomery, Ala. hospital.

Also in the car were driver Nader Hassen, Lamar Washington, Michael Willis and Joseph Noah, according to a public information officer with the Alabama Department of Public Safety. All were injured in the accident — their conditions are unknown at this time.

The accident resulted in hundreds of comments on the Alabama I-65 Discussion Board, a chat room used to report traffic updates, inquiring about the students’ conditions. Many who posted in the chat room said they had witnessed the accident or were caught in the traffic jam that followed. Some said they had stopped to help the injured students and many offered prayers to the students and their families and conversed directly with “Jess,” a poster who identified herself as Marino’s cousin.

Jess continued to update the chat room on Marino’s condition throughout the night. The hashtag #prayforjage spread quickly among KSU students on Twitter and the Facebook page “Praying for JJ” was created Sunday.

“The Kent State community is sad to learn of the passing of Joseph J. ( “JJ”) Marino, one of our students, following a car accident in Alabama,” university spokesperson Emily Vincent said in an updated university statement at 10:45 a.m. Monday. “We express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, many of whom showed their love and support for him on social media. The Kent State community continues to pray for all of those involved in the accident and their families. Counselors are available through University Health Services for those who need support during this difficult time.”

Dysart said a second vehicle was involved in the crash and identified it as a 2001 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by John Purifoy from Ashville, Ala. Dysart said the circumstances of the accident are still under investigation.

Friends gathered at Marino’s off-campus house Sunday declined to comment.

[View the story “Friends remember JJ Marino through social media” on Storify]

Friends remember JJ Marino through social media

Storified by· Sun, Mar 31 2013 19:09:26

Life is just too short these days, praying for JJ Marino’s family today, #prayforjage #RIPJohn Covert
Weighing heavy on my heart. I’m sorry for his enormous group of friends and families loss. #prayforjageErin Blackiston
Praying for my Padua family and the Marinos tonight #prayforjageBriana Mino
I would of waited in that traffic jam all day just to hear that hes okay. nobody deserves that. #ripjj #prayforjageALLI LYNN
My thoughts and prayers go out to JJ Marino and his family.Megan O’Toole
Grade school memories @Moose_2311 @_lolbritt @eliise_mariie @jagemarino #RIPjage Elizabeth
R.I.P jj marino this is soo unrealReggie B
RIP JJ Marino you will be greatly missed by a lot of peopleDave Moore
I had a notion, so I went and looked at my group project from stats my freshman year, sure enough right under my name, JJ Marino, unreal that he is gone! Prayers for his family. Rest in Peace my friend!Steven Greene
RIP JJ #PrayersForJageHallman
@jagemarino was a damn good kid. He will be missed by a vast majority of those who have met him. I wish his family all the best!! #RIPDevin McCallion
RIP @jagemarino lucky to have met youTim Egan™
I still can’t believe this is real life. I’ve been thinking about you all day @jagemarino #RIPJageMarissa Roach
Didn’t really know JJ Marino besides he played hockey and was a freshman when I was a sophomore at Padua but prayers to his family and friends at the time of their lost. R.I.P. JJ MarinoKevin Kasmer
Jage left us a rainbow outside his room#prayforjage Blankenship
Rest in peace JJ. You will be greatly missed. Marino family, you are all in my prayers.Michael Debelak
Thoughts and prayers for the family of JJ Marino, the brothers of Kent State Delta Upsilon and JJ’s friends. Such a tragic loss.Brenda McKenzie
Hold your loved ones a little closer today. Heaven gained another angel @jagemarino. Praying for JJ and his loved ones @KSUDeltaUpsilonKent Delta Gamma
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of our brother JJ Marino. We know you are in a better place now. Rest in peace brother.Ksu Delta Upsilon
Keeping the Marino family in my prayers… Rest in peace JJ. Bruins always come together in times of need.Liz Rolle
My heart goes out to everyone in Kent. #prayforjageMiranda Kelly
Deeply saddened by the lose of JJ Marino today. Saying prayers and my God be with his family now. Thinking of the Marino family. We love you all and are praying for you..Allyson Marino Robinson and Mike Mike MarinoChrissy Sochacky
Thoughts, Wishes, and Prayers to JJ Marino from Delta Upsilon who passed away today. If you are still coming back from Spring Break, drive safe.Sigma Phi Epsilon Kent State University
Thoughts and prayers go out not only to the Marino family, but also the friends of JJ. We’re all here for u guys if u need something. RIP buddy.Commissioner Eickelman
It gives me chills thinking about how fast a life can be taken. Hold your loved ones close. #PrayersforJage Frank Moll
Thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of JJ Marino and his brothers of KSU Delta UpsilonKent Greek Life
R.I.P. JJ Marino you’ll be missed manJoe Walsh
What a sad day. Always gunna remember messing around in theatrics class freshman year. Thoughts and prayers to the Marino family. Rest in peace JJ – you’ll be missed my man.Dave Zup
I have been following posts to keep up with the young man in the bad accident yesterday on I-65, he was a 20 year old Kent Univ. Student. He went to be with the lord today, his name was JJ Marino, please pray for this families loss as he was traveling back home from spring break vacation and a semi clipped the van he was in, other 4 boys are ok. Soooo sad! :'( mgBrian Misty Grow
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Marino family, friends, and fellow classmates of both Kent State and Padua. Rest in peace JJ, you always did have a contagious laugh. From myself, my family, and the Holy Name family please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.’ [Psalm 34:18]Meghan A Rowley
Always made me laugh @jagemarino I will miss you very much. Knepley
The class of 08 has gained one awesome angel today. Our fellow Bruin is watching over us. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Marino family on this tough day. JJ you will be greatly missed, may you fly with the angels <3Britt Any
Heaven gained its funniest, most warm-hearted angel today. RIP @jagemarino. You’re loved beyond belief.Erica Mucci
Today the Padua Franciscan Class of 2008 lost one of its brothers. Rest in peace, JJ Marino. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.Matt Kerschner
Rest in Peace JJ Marino you will always be in our thoughts and prayers <3Emily Jane Weithman
Why bad things happen to good people I’ll never understand… RIP @jagemarino prayers to friends and family…KSU Black Squirrel
RIP JJ Marino you were a really good friend growing up. We are all going to miss you. You will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. Cougars and bruins forever.Dan Mauser
Prayers for the Marino family. Only the good die young R.I.P JJAudra M Gackowski
Jage, at least now you get to be with all of us everyday for the rest of our lives…you have impacted and changed my life since I’ve met you 4 years ago…swing dance in Heaven for love, you will never be forgotten. Love you, rest in peace JJ Marino <3Sarah Elizabeth
life is so unpredictable… I’m completely speechless. RIP @jagemarino, thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends jennifer sago
RIP JJ Marino you will never be forgotten!Nick Placko
Prayers #Prayforjage to family and friends and the KSU family. Life is so short. Hug the ones you love.Kelly Gentile
Our JJ karlye_
As friendly & kind hearted a person as you could meet. Our condolences to family and so many friends. RT @jagemarino: Young, wild, and freeWater Street Tavern
“@vgillombardo15: Praying for a miracle today, keep the Marinos in your thoughts. We love you JJ, keep fighting #prayforjage”Jaclyn Piatak
#prayforjage and the Marino family. Such a unbelievable tragedy.Nick
don’t take advantage of the things you have today #prayforjageMike
Still have faith, never giving up on you @jagemarino We love you #prayforjageSamantha
Can’t stop checking my phone, hoping for some good news #prayforjageAngela
My freshman year of college I met a kid by the name of JJ Marino who made my expierence at vine street one hell of a time ….one of the funniest and outgoing kids I’ve ever met ….PRAYING FOR YOUBobby Collins
stay strong kent family — everyone please keep JJ Marino in your thoughts and prayers todayZack Rosenberg
Please use your time at church today to say an extra prayer for JJ and his family #prayforjageMargot Dileno
Can’t stop thinking about you, JJ. #prayforjageCalli Hamadeh
My thoughts & prayers go out to @jagemarino — lit up the lives of so many. Keep fighting babe! We love you! #prayforjageShelly Wilkes
Happy Easter to everyone!! Please be safe as you head back to Kent and to pray for JJ Marino, a fellow Kent Stater.Kent Greek Life
Keeping you in our prayers @jagemarino #prayforjagetom_barracato
Prayers go out from the brothers of Sigma Chi to @jagemarino and his family. #staystrong #prayforjageSigma Chi KSU
Happy Easter to all! Continue to pray for JJ Marino, a fellow Kent Stater. Please have safe travels back to Kent!KSU Delta Gamma
We all need to send all of our best prayers toward @jagemarino and his family today. #prayforjageKori Treanor
So much love and prayer is being sent your way today @jagemarino. Keep fighting ? #prayforjageangela_mahakian
@jagemarino all I want is for us to be at the Retirement Home having fun like we always do, we are praying for you! #PrayForJagekjp_23
extra prayers for a padua alum and neighbor today #prayforjageCourtney moser
Come on Jage. You got a whole family to come home to ? #PrayForJageKatlyn Sharick
Prayers out to JJ Marino. Hang in there. We are all praying for the best.Dan Mauser
Us bruins stick together! Praying for JJ and the Marino family.Sarah Janowich
My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Marino family and to JJ. Keep praying and keep believing in our God.Chrissy Sochacky
Back when I first met you JJ. Pull through this #pledgebrother #dateparty #prayforjageJustin Cady
I would like to wish everyone a blessed Easter!! And if you could before you sit down to eat your meal today, please say a prayer for a good friend of our family who was involved in a serious accident yesterday not sure of alot of details but they have a son who is now in a coma, Marino family we are all praying for you to bring JJ home safe.Wayne Moore
Praying for you JJ MarinoEmily Jane Weithman
Today is the first time I have prayed in a long time. You got this buddy #prayforjageJessica Hamby
Everyone send out your prayers for @jagemarino his friends and family. We are not only students at Kent State but a Family. #PrayersForJageKSU Black Squirrel
Many things may separate us from one another, but when tragedy happens we all come together #Prayforjage #KSUunite @jagemarino #KSUfamilyKent State Happening
We might be a big school, but our #KentState group really is a family, pull together for @jagemarino #PrayersForJageKent
#prayforjage Abby Gale
Thoughts and prayers going out to all of the kent state guys tonight. Get home safe #staystrong #prayforjageLauren Greenspan
The Kent State family pulling together in this time of need >>>>#PrayForJageMindy Mitolo
Hope everyone travels back safely to Kent this weekend, definitely keeping the boys involved in the accident in our prays. #prayforjage ?ad??on ?acalle
#PrayForJageBreean Jenko
Reading my TL reassures me that all one needs in this world are family, friends, & above all us love. Everyone get home safe & #prayforjage.Big Gucci Sosa
endless prayers for all the kent state boys #prayforjage Liz Hriczo
#prayforjageRichie Baker
Prayers for the KSU boys involved in a serious accident. Everyone is pulling for you guys, we love you! #prayforjage MissMontgomeryCounty
#prayforjage Veronica Dugan
Thoughts with you bro. #prayforjageJohnny F. Franko
It’s things like this that make you realize how precious life really is #prayforjage #weloveyouStephanie Nowak
Prayers for @jagemarino and familyand everyone else involved. #staystrong #prayforjageAshley Elizabeth
Thank God for still allowing me to be alive through the trouble we had today. Pray for the other Kent State students as well. #prayforjageTyler Taliaferro
Not sure what happened or know the guys from KSU, just know they were involved in a serious car accident #prayforjage #spreadthewordMelissa Hall
Praying for all the boys in the crash today #staystrong #prayforjageChristy Lodder
Prayers and thoughts to those on their way home from break! #prayforjageSpencer Nicol
Prayer is so powerful.. Even if you don’t know him, RT and spread the word. Prayers to JJ #prayforjageMichelle Progar
#prayforjage and everyone else in the accident ?Melanie Piper
Hang in there brother, we’re all here for you #PrayForJage @jagemarinoIan Keffer
Sending prayers to a friend in need #PrayForJageChristian Gatautis
Love you @jagemarino! We’re all praying for ya #prayforjageLindsey Petrillo
Keep on praying y’all. #prayforjage #unrealSteven Greene
My heart and prayers going out to all of you boys! ? #prayforjageCourtney Pandolfi
Stay strong @jagemarino #prayforjage ?Sammie Miller
Let’s keep #prayforjage coming ?Katie
#prayforjage Alex Giuliani
@jagemarino were all praying and waiting for you to pull through buddy #prayforjageClint
Everyone please #prayforjage even if you don’t know him! He needs it!Abby Gale
There is so much Kent state love on my timeline right now. Everyone keep praying, this is amazing. #PrayForJageLindsey Mild
I don’t know you but you got your Kent State family praying for you!! #prayforjage Rachel Jean West
Lots and lots of prayers going out to JJ right now. Hang in there bud #prayforjageStephanie Nowak
Hey Joe #prayforjageMichael
#prayforjageSteven Greene
Cannot stop praying for JJ. #loveyou #prayforjageLauren Carissimi
I love seeing all the support on my TL #PrayforJage #kentState #WeRise&FallAsOneGabby James
“The greatest gift we can give to others is prayer.” #prayforjage Kelsey Mozdzierz
Sending love and positive thoughts to friends back home. #prayforjageLisa
Stay strong j. You will get through this. I love you like a brother @jagemarino #prayforjage Bucca
Wow. And suddenly the little things don’t matter #prayforjageKate Kelly
May you never take one single breath for granted #prayforjage Heather Westfall
Praying for you over and over @jagemarino ? #prayforjage #bestfriend #homieJamie
#prayforjage Angela
All this support is amazing guys. Please keep praying for my best friend @jagemarino #prayforjageAntonino Bucca

Contact Rebecca Reis at [email protected].