Crash on Highway 99 kills two
Two people were killed in a collision involving three cars Sunday near Nelson Road on Highway 99.
According to CHP reports, Lauren Delucchi, 19, of Chico, fell asleep behind the wheel of her pickup truck sometime around 5:15 pm. Delucchi, a Chico State student and volunteer with the Residence Hall Association, had been shuttling attendees of a weekend conference back to the airports in Chico and Sacramento, other sources report, and was likely exhausted from preparing for the 470-student event. As she drifted toward opposing traffic, she awoke just in time to avert a crash with a Chevrolet Camaro heading the other direction, swerving off the road and ending up in a rice field.
The driver of the Camaro, who had seen the pickup drifting toward the southbound lane, also swerved but over-corrected and crossed the median, striking a northbound Ford Taurus.
The passengers of both vehicles were killed on impact. The coroner identified them as Megan Mcnamar, 20, of Yuba City and Jacqueline Andes, 80, of Chico.
New commissioner means new blood for A.S.
The student government leadership is finally complete, as Denise Crosswhite was seated this week as the new commissioner of re-entry affairs for Chico State University’s Associated Students. In a special election held Nov. 14, Crosswhite won with 69 percent of the 116 votes cast, enough to beat out Janet T. Westphal. The position had gone unfilled since Melanie Carlson resigned early in the semester.
Crosswhite said she brings “a fresh new look, fresh new eyes, fresh new ideas” to the position. She expects to work well with both “traditional” and re-entry students, who are loosely defined as those over age 25 or having had a break in schooling. “I feel like I relate,” said Crosswhite, who is herself a re-entry student. “I want to come in and have a really positive attitude.” She has served on the Re-entry Council, is on the board of the Up ’Til Dawn children’s hospital fund raiser and is also vice president of the PTA.
Crosswhite, 34, has a husband and three children ages 6, 8 and 10, who were all supportive of her taking on the new role. She had put her Chico State education on hold as a sophomore but has returned to pursue a degree in communication studies.
She’s already planning on holding some of her office hours in the Re-entry Center, to be more accessible. “I think there needs to be a complete needs assessment of what the Re-entry Center’s role is and what the commissioner’s role is,” Crosswhite said. She is looking to other schools for examples.
Bright, popular student takes own life
Ben Kovar, a smart and well-liked Chico State University senior who ran last year for Associated Students president, committed suicide in his fraternity house bedroom early in the morning of Nov. 14. His brothers at the Tau Gamma Theta fraternity house at 980 Chestnut St. heard a shot shortly before 1 o’clock and called police, who responded and found Kovar, 20, with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
“We are investigating it as a self-inflicted gunshot,” Lt. Mike Weber, of the Chico Police Department, said. One of Kovar’s fraternity brothers, who lived in the house with him, said the brothers and Kovar’s family collectively decided not to talk to the media, because “all there really is to say is Ben was a great guy.” A memorial service was held Nov. 18.
Last spring, Kovar lost graciously to Jimmy Reed in the race for Associated Students president. Reed said Kovar struck him as "very, very intellectual" and a nice guy. He was a double-major in philosophy and psychology and recently scored within the top 14 percent nationwide on the law school admissions test.