NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Qadrey Tolliver, 18, a first-year Bethel College student from Kempner, Texas, died in an automobile accident Oct. 20 in Texas.
Tolliver was a member of the women’s basketball team. Bethel students learned of her death as they returned from fall break.
According to media reports, an investigation into the cause of the accident was ongoing, but officials determined she lost control of her car as she rounded a curve on a rural highway in Lampasas County and hit a tree shortly after 7 a.m.
The women’s basketball team gathered in the chapel the afternoon of Oct. 20 to honor Tolliver’s memory. The wider Bethel community gathered in Haury Hall that evening. A chapel service the following morning was dedicated to Tolliver.
“We ran 250 bulletins and ran out,” campus pastor Peter Goerzen said of attendance at the chapel service. “This was Qadrey’s first semester at Bethel, and in her short time on campus she had already established many meaningful relationships.”
Women’s basketball coach Mark Fox said words like “feisty” and “friend” kept coming through in reflections.
“I think her lasting effect will be one of galvanizing a team that was already close but will now be forever bonded together by this one tragic event,” Fox told The Newton Kansan. “While we mourn and grieve here for our team and community, we cannot begin to understand the pain that her family is feeling.
“We hope that all of the extended Bethel family will keep her parents and brother in their thoughts and prayers.”
President Perry White, the women’s basketball coaches and team and several other students traveled to Texas for Tolliver’s funeral Oct. 28.