‘It’s just a shock’: Liberty University remembers student killed in tragic cycling accident

Josiah Fowler died on May 12 after being hit by a vehicle while cycling solo in Campbell County

Josiah Fowler (Liberty University)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Focused. Diligent. Determined. These were the words used to describe Josiah Fowler, a Liberty University sophomore student who lost his life in a tragic cycling accident near Lynchburg last week.

As we’ve reported previously, on the afternoon of May 11, Fowler, of McDonough, Georgia, was cycling solo on English Tavern Road in Campbell County when he was hit by a vehicle. Virginia State Police says he was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he died the following morning. No charges have been filed, according to State Police.

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Now, those at Liberty University are taking the time to remember the impact Fowler has had during his 20 years in this world.

Many can recall the time Fowler spent on the university’s triathlon team.

Head Coach Heather Gollnick, who will be speaking at his celebration of life service this Saturday at noon at First Baptist Church in Atlanta, said he was unlike any other athlete she has ever met.

“It was a true honor to coach Josiah,” said Gollnick. “He was without question one of the hardest workers on the team. In all my years of coaching, I honestly haven’t experienced an athlete who was more focused, diligent, and determined to learn what was for him a new sport, triathlon.”

Recent graduate and fellow team member JJ Bagans was heartbroken by the news, which came on the first day of Liberty University’s 50th Commencement.

“It’s just a shock,” Bagans said. “A bunch of us were with him early that (Thursday) morning at another one of our friends’ graduation ceremonies. He brought us all graduation cards with a smile on his face. He was one of the purest souls that I’ve ever met, selfless and giving. He didn’t run this race on earth for himself; he ran it for God and for others, as was evident by what he was doing on his last day, celebrating someone else. He wanted to watch us all graduate before he went home.”

As many continue to mourn the loss, Liberty’s interim president, Jerry Prevo, issued a statement on behalf of Liberty:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of this exceptional young man, a brother in Christ, and we will be praying for his family and friends during this very difficult time. We know as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that Josiah is in the arms of the Savior and that one day we will all be united with each other again.

Liberty University interim president, Jerry Prevo

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Fowler’s family pay for his funeral. If you wish to donate, you can do so below:

About the Author

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

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