YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Eastern Michigan's women's basketball student-athlete Shannise Heady and fellow EMU student Jordan Hopkins died in an automobile accident on Hewitt Road north of Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti Township. The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 25.
"Obviously this is one of our toughest days as a program and for the entire Eagle Nation as we mourn the loss of Shannise," said EMU coach Tory Verdi. "No words can describe the feelings right now as we are truly devastated to learn of her passing. Shannise was not only an inspiration to all of us, but she brought energy and liveliness to our team. She was a true joy to coach and has left an everlasting impression not only on me but the rest of our team as well. She will be missed greatly."
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Shannise and have tremendous empathy for the families," said EMU's Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke. "Our prayers for peace are with them. Shannise lit up the room with her personality and smile and will be missed in our locker room and the department."
"This is a tragic loss," said Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jordan's and Shannise's families and friends at this difficult time."
"I am shocked and saddened to learn of this tragic event," added Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to both Shannise's and Jordan's families and the entire Eastern Michigan University community."
The university said it would make counseling available to those who seek it.
The accident remains under investigation by the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.