Anchorage swimmer hurt in fatal team van crash

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2000

COSHOCTON, Ohio - The captain of a national champion women's swimming team at Kenyon College was killed and 10 others - including an Anchorage woman - were injured in a crash on a slick highway.

Killed in the crash Thursday was Molly Hatcher, 21, of Evanston, Ill., said dispatcher James Stewart of the State Highway Patrol in Zanesville. Hatcher was a member of the team that has won 16 straight NCAA Division III national championships.

The accident, which did not involve any other vehicles, happened on U.S. 36, about five miles east of Coshocton.

Two passengers, Jessica Case, 18, of Anchorage, and Kate Holland, 19, of Minot, N.D., were in fair condition Friday at Grant Medical Center in Columbus. The other eight were treated and released at Coshocton Memorial Hospital. Seven of the eight are on the women's team and the other on the men's squad.

The patrol said unsafe speed contributed to the crash. Melanie Wyatt, a dispatcher, said the van, driven by swim team member Sarah Steen, 21, of Mount Vernon, the daughter of coach Jim Steen, was going more than 60 mph in a 55-mph zone.

The van was returning from a meet Wednesday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Kenyon spokesman Tom Stamp said it is not uncommon for team members to drive school vans to meets.

He said school counselors met with the members of both swim teams Thursday night.

Kenyon, which has about 1,575 students, is on winter break, with classes scheduled to resume Monday.

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