A Humboldt State University student was killed in a vehicle-pedestrian collision in East Los Angeles last week.
California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Gina Jojola told the Outpost today that 22-year-old Ketly Sylla was driving westbound on Interstate 10 at 11 p.m. on Sept. 19, when her sedan broke down in the middle of the freeway near the Jackson Avenue pedestrian overpass.
For unknown reasons, Sylla reportedly exited her vehicle and was struck by an oncoming sedan along the freeway, suffering major injuries. Sylla was taken to USC Medical Center for treatment, where she was later pronounced dead.
Contrary to information shared on social media, HSU student Ketly Sylla was involved in a fatal traffic collision in Los Angeles, not in Humboldt County.
According to a statement issued by HSU’s Dean of Students office, Sylla was a senior pursuing a degree in sociology.
“She was an Educational Opportunity Program student and when she was a student here, worked with the African American Center for Academic Excellence, the Indian Tribal and Educational Personnel Program, the Student Disability Resource Center and was an involved student leader here on campus and in the community,” the statement reads. “Ketly’s death is a difficult loss for our community, and University staff are working to provide aid to those on campus who know her.”
Grief counseling is available on the HSU campus for those in need.
Jojola reiterated the CHP’s advice to travelers, that the safest action during a vehicle malfunction or traffic collision is to pull your vehicle to the side of the road — if possible — and remain inside with your seatbelt fastened until first responders arrive on scene.
Read more from HSU Dean of Students office below:
Dear University Community,
We are sad to share news of the loss of Humboldt State University student Ketly Sylla. We extend our condolences to all who have been affected by her loss, particularly her family members and friends. This communication is shared with you purposefully as we are aware you and/or your area had direct contact with Ketly throughout her time here at HSU, as we are making an effort to connect and concentrate our communications.
Ketly, who was a senior pursuing her degree in Sociology, died on September 20, 2019. She was 22 years old. She was an Educational Opportunity Program student and when she was a student here, worked with the African American Center for Academic Excellence, the Indian Tribal & Educational Personnel Program, the Student Disability Resource Center and was an involved student leader here on campus and in the community.
Ketly’s death is a difficult loss for our community, and University staff are working to provide aid to those on campus who know her. Our university counseling center is available for support. If you are interested in speaking with a counselor or inviting a CAPS representative to an event, please contact CAPS at 826-3236. The university has also been in close contact with Ketly’s family and will continue to assist them during this difficult time.
For those who are struggling with grief or otherwise, please know that help is available. Students can contact Counseling & Psychological Services in the Student Health Center at 707.826.3236 anytime. If you need help facilitating a conversation with your faculty or others on-campus, the Dean of Students Office may be reached at 707.826.3504. Staff or faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.