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SOU Provost, Earl Potter, Killed in Accident

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Cydney Patterson1 year ago

SOU provost, Earl Potter dead at 69.

Details about the Accident

The Daily Tidings is reporting that former Southern Oregon University executive vice president Earl Potter III died in a single vehicle car crash that happened this past Monday in Minnesota. Potter was also the president of St. Cloud State University since 2007. The communities of both SOU and St. Cloud State University each have gaping holes in their heart because of his tragic ending. Potter, who was hired by former SOU President Elisabeth Zinser in 2004 stated that “he was “a very strategic thinker, superb with challenging others and delegating them to his themes, to the kind of progress we were working toward, while providing the appropriate guidance, yet giving them lots of autonomy and license.”

On the day of his accident, Potter was traveling to the Twin Cities for a meeting with the SCSU Foundation Board chair, according to the university, when his Toyota 4 Runner went off Interstate Highway 694, hitting the guard rails. The vehicle over-corrected, crossing into the center lane, almost hitting another vehicle. The vehicle then over-corrected to the left, causing the SUV to flip several times until it struck the cable barriers. The crash happened just after 5:30 p.m. Potter had also previously served in the coast guard for 24 years, eventually earning the rank of captain as well as also previously serving in leadership positions at Eastern Michigan University, Cornell University and at Lesley University. It is inevitably clear that Potter really touched all of the people he had ever met and he left a mark that will last a lifetime. He will truly be missed.

Important Information about Single Vehicle Accidents

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are thousands of wrongful deaths of people invovled in motor vehicle accidents every year in the United States:

  • Nationwide, 56 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2014 occurred in single-vehicle crashes.
  • The largest proportion of deaths in single-vehicle crashes occurred in Rhode Island (77 percent), Hawaii (71 percent), and the District of Columbia and Montana (70 percent),whereas the smallest proportion occurred in Minnesota (43 percent).
  • In 2014, there were a total of 32,675 people killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States.


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