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MSU rowing team captain killed in I-96 crash

Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 15:49:52-04

PORTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Deputies have identified the woman who died after rear-ending a box truck on I-96 in Ionia County as Michigan State University rowing team captain Olivia Long.

The 20-year-old from Auburn Hills was visiting friends in Holland and was returning to Michigan State University on I-96 near Knox Road around 2:30 p.m. on August 26 when she rear-ended a large box truck.

The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office says Long was briefly trapped in her car, but emergency crews were able to get her out.

She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

The driver of the box truck was not injured.

Long attended Michigan State University and was captain of the school’s rowing team.

"We have lost a young, promising life way too early," said Michigan State Rowing Head Coach Kim Chavers. "Olivia was an excellent teammate who was invested in those around her and our program. As a captain, she connected with a lot of different people, and on a team as large as ours, team building is especially important. Our rowing family will miss her tremendously and will find a way to honor her legacy as we lean on one another to process our loss. We send our love and prayers to her family and all who loved her, as this loss is hard to comprehend."

"Our prayers go out to Olivia Long's family and friends," said Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman. "Olivia loved being a Spartan, and as a leader developed incredible connections with so many of her teammates. To lose her so soon seems especially cruel. We will provide support and resources to assist members of the rowing program and athletic department staff as they grieve."