HARDY COUNTY, WV. (THECOUNT) — John “Luke” Fergusson, of Richmond, Virginia, Nicholas Troutman, of Richmond, Virginia, and Joshua Mardis, of Williamsburg, West Virginia, have been identified as the James Madison University students killed in an overnight vehicle crash in Hardy County, West Virginia.

Fergusson, a sophomore majoring in media arts and design, Troutman, a sophomore majoring in business management, and Mardis, a sophomore majoring in communication studies, were all killed in a Thursday night vehicle crash near the West Virginia-Virginia state line. The crash also critically injured two other students.


According to reports, the 19-year-old students were traveling in a vehicle on Route 259 near Wardensville, when for unknown reasons, the vehicle exited the roadway and made contact with a tree around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Troutman, Mardis and Fergusson were all pronounced dead of blunt force trauma injuries at the scene.

The remaining unidentified students were transported to an area hospital in critical condition.

JMU president Jonathan Alger issued the following statement:

“The loss our community has felt today is unthinkable. We share our sincere condolences to our university community as a whole, but specifically to the families, friends and others with close connections to the students we’ve lost.

In these moments of significant grief, it is more important than ever to support and care for one another. Kindness, understanding and hope are things we all need to give and receive in the coming days and weeks ahead.

These three young men will always be remembered as Dukes and will forever be in our hearts.

In addition, please keep the two other students involved, who were also injured and are currently hospitalized from this accident, in your thoughts.”

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


Geo quick facts: Hardy County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 14,299. Its county seat is Moorefield. The county was created from Hampshire County in 1786 and named for Samuel Hardy, a distinguished Virginian – Wikipedia.