Miami U. Copes With Deaths Of Four Students In A Year

(OXFORD, OH) -- As the spring semester starts at Miami  University, FOX19's Sara Gouedy reports that there are high hopes that this year will be better than last, a year in which four students were killed.

Three of those deaths happened in the fall at Miami University, something that has a lot of students and faculty saying they just want the spring semester to be normal.

Students at Miami got a heavy dose of reality in 2007.

"I think there might be a cloud of sadness over everybody because we remember what happened and we don't want it to happen again," said student Erica Marie Burke.

It started with the spring death of Beth Speidel, who was hit by a train after a night of drinking.

Then in the fall came Clifton Alexander's death, a methadone overdose at his Sigma Nu fraternity house.

Joseph Eger was also hit and killed by a train in the fall.

Then, during winter break, Daniel Ferraro died when he and a group of friends exploded a homemade bomb in a backyard fort.

"It really just affected everybody I think, no matter how you were related to it," said student Paul Ruflie

That's why Miami faculty members say it's all the more reason to stay alert this spring.

"If I never have to send out another crime alert, I'll be happy," said university spokesperson Claire Wagner

Wagner says it's unusual to have four students die in one year and it was hard for some kids to cope.

She has some advice for students this semester.

"Be responsible. Be safe. You're here, and you have an effect on your family, and your friends and the faculty and you mean something to them," she said.