Sorority concerned about drunk driving

Kappa Kappa Gamma National Headquarters expressed concern for the injured members of Friday night’s drunk driving accident involving five of its members.

Peggy Hellwig, a spokesperson for Kappa, said that the organization was more concerned with ensuring the health of two hospitalized students and the well being of other chapter members before it would launch any formal investigation.

At 2:26 a.m. last Saturday morning, a 1996 Isuzu Rodeo was reported flipped on its side with heavy damages to it. The Amherst Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene to find the members of the sorority inside the vehicle.

Twenty-one-year-old Mary Cannon of Woburn was treated at the scene and sent by ambulance to the north fire station. She was then transported via Life Helicopter to the Baystate Medical Center. She was last listed in critical condition of the intensive care unit of that facility.

Holly Spaulding, 20, was also rushed by ambulance to Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, but was treated and released.

“Our immediate concern is for the welfare of those five members in the accident: the two in the hospital and the others involved,” Hellwig said. “We’re also very concerned about the members of the chapter.”

The sorority’s local advisors have made counseling available to any members of Kappa who might request it in dealing with the accident.

Hellwig also allayed any rumors that Kappa might lose its charter as a repercussion of Friday night’s incident.

“We absolutely have no plans to do that [take away their chapter],” Hellwig explained. “We will be looking into the circumstances of the accident. As we understand it, these were five individuals that were friends out in a car.”

Since the accident has not yet been linked to the sorority house, Hellwig explained, there are no plans for formal sanctions against the Amherst chapter.

“We value our chapter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst very much,” Hellwig said. “All our dealings with members are helping them affect positive change in the community.”

Hellwig went on to explain that tragedies like Friday night’s incident were an unfortunate consequence of college life, not, as many people believe, of Greek life in particular.

“This could be a statement on society as a whole, rather than simply Greek life. This is a view of campus life. These [accidents] happen across all campuses,” Hellwig said. “I think this resonates in society.”

Provided the condition of the two hospitalized Kappa members improves, a formal investigation by the National Headquarters could be launched by mid to late week.

Hellwig explained that such investigations usually last approximately one week and usually allow the chapter to handle the problem internally.

“Right now, we want to make sure the chapter is dealing with it well,” Hellwig said. “All of our thoughts and prayers are with those in the hospital and their families.”