Richmond Police Department Capt. Bill Shake said the three — senior Therese Heymann, 21, of Burlingame, Calif.; sophomore Lenore Edwards and senior Graham Nissen — were hit by the train.
Heymann was pronounced dead at the scene. Edwards and Nissen were taken to Reid Hospital and later flown by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Edwards is listed in critical condition and Nissen in good condition.
Heymann was an art major. Nissen majors in music and Edwards has not declared a major, school officials said.
Police and the Richmond Fire Department were called to the scene at 1:12 a.m. All three victims were on the south side of the train. There were shoes, a backpack and a purse on the ground in the area.
Shake said he didn’t know how the students came to be hit. “I don’t really know what they were doing,” he said.
Earlham College Security officers were called to the accident and then proceded to Reid Hospital.
Thursday night had been designated College Night in the Depot District, and Earlham had provided shuttle transportation to and from the area. Patrons of the E Street Pub, many of them Earlham students, approached the police seeking more information.
Some were stunned by the news and several began crying.
Classes were canceled so students would not have to worry about classes while mourning.
“Earlham is a small, close-knit community,” Earlham spokesman Mark Blackmon said. “There’s 1,200 students and our president just felt really strongly that today was a day we needed to gather together.”
The accident, Blackmon said, happened in the heart of Richmond’s depot district, where many students were attending College Night. It was an initiative to draw students off-campus from area colleges such as Ivy Tech, IU East, Earlham and Purdue. It’s unclear how many students may have seen the accident.