Troy University student dies in crash

Cassie Gibbs

News Editor


A Troy University student died in a two-vehicle collision Tuesday, Oct. 14, around 11 a.m.

Lauren Brooke Strickland, 20, was driving a 2007 Mazda 6 along Highway 10, about 5 miles east of Clio, Tuesday morning when she collided with a 2014 International tractor-trailer, according to an Alabama State Troopers press release.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was Clarence Hardison, 50, from Portsmouth, Virginia.

Hardison sustained injuries and was transported to a local hospital. Strickland, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was declared dead at the scene.

State troopers are still investigating the crash.

Strickland, a sophomore undeclared major from Ariton, was a leadership scholar at Troy University. She worked in the Career Services office with Anne Clark, the secretary for the department.

“I worked with Lauren Strickland for three semesters,” Clark said. “She was a wonderful young lady. She always had a natural smile. I don’t remember a time when she didn’t come in with a smile on her face.”

Clark said that Strickland always loved children and was thinking about what she would choose for her major.

“She had two younger siblings and absolutely loved children,” Clark said. “I remember that she said she may want to look at education for her major.”

Strickland worked with First Baptist Church’s daycare center, A Mother’s Day Out, run by Betty and B.J. Bateman.

According to Strickland’s supervisors, she was thought of highly by all who worked at the daycare. She was described as being a “very dependable worker” and “well-liked by all who worked with her.”

Hannah Galloway, senior communications major from Ariton, knew Strickland from high school.

“She was an all-around awesome girl,” Galloway said. “She always had a smile on her face. I never saw her without one. She was a great person to be around, all the time.”

Galloway said that in a small town, when an event like this happens, the people in the community support each other.

“Of course, we all come together when and really try show what the person means to us.”

Herb Reeves, dean of student services, said that the university’s thoughts are with her family during this time.

“This is a very tragic event,” Reeves said. “Anytime you have the life of a person lost at such a young age, it’s a loss for the Troy community and the university.”

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