MSU track runner Kaelin Kersh dies in car accident


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi State track and field athlete Kaelin Kersh died in a car wreck in Starkville on Sunday morning.

According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol the fatal crash happened at the Intersection of Mayhew Road and Mississippi 182 around 1:24 a.m.

We’re told a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper SUV was traveling east on MS 182 to check out a report of a vehicle leaving the road. At the intersection,  the SUV collided with the left side of a green Toyota Corolla.

Kersh was in the back passenger seat. The 22-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Corolla is 21-year-old Noel Collier of Madison. She’s was taken to UMMC with moderate injuries.

The front seat passenger of the Corolla is 22-year-old Tanequa Alexander from Ridgeland. She is at NMMC Tupelo with moderate injuries.

The trooper involved in the crash had minor injuries.

Kersh, a Pearl native who graduated from MSU on Friday with a degree in kinesiology and health fitness studies, was 22 years old. She is the daughter of George Kersh, a world-class runner known as one of the best in Mississippi State history.

“I will always remember Kaelin by her incredible smile,” MSU track and field coach Steve Dudley said in a statement. “Kaelin always had a positive attitude and this was contagious to everyone around her. Kaelin was a member of the most successful era of women’s track and field at Mississippi State and that was largely due to the tight bond between her and her teammates. We all loved her, and Kaelin will remain in our hearts forever. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Kersh family and to the other families involved.

As a senior, Kersh helped the Bulldog outdoor track and field team capture the distance medley relay at the the 2016 Alabama Relays. For the 2017 indoor season, Kersh was a member of the DMR and 4×400 relay teams. 

“The entire Mississippi State family mourns the tragic loss of Kaelin,” Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Kaelin’s family, friends, teammates and coaches. She represented Mississippi State in a first-class manner and earned her degree. We will be here to provide support and comfort to her family and teammates during the grieving process.”

At Pearl High School, she was a 800 meter dash state champion.

The crash remains under investigation.

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