EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Jacob Barry, a 2015 graduate of East Brunswick High School, attends Oklahoma State University, but what he learned at home in East Brunswick helped him to address a tragedy that occurred during the most-attended football game of the season.
Football games at Oklahoma State University are more than community events. They attract visitors from all over the state who arrive in Winnebagos and on motorcycles and camp out for tailgate parties and pre-game events that last an entire weekend. Stillwater is nowhere near as big as Oklahoma City, home of Oklahoma University, or Tulsa, a large, modern city filled with college campuses. Stillwater is in the middle of a flat plain, surrounded by huge natural football fields where cattle graze and wheat grows.
As has been reported on national news, Adacia Avery Chambers is being held on four counts of Second Degree Murder. Chambers, a 25-year-old Stillwater resident, was originally arrested on Saturday Oct. 24 for Driving Under the Influence after a collision with a crowd of spectators at the Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade in Stillwater. Three victims were pronounced dead at the scene and one victim, a 2-year-old boy, died at the hospital as a result of his injuries. Forty-six other people were injured in the collision.
EB's Jake Barry had visited the scene earlier in the day, prior to his stint as First Responder for Oklahoma State University at the Homecoming game that pitted the Oklahoma State Cowboys against the University of Kansas Jayhawks. As an OSU freshman, he found the numbers of attendees at the pre-game events, "unbelieveable...a huge event." As the crowds flooded the stadium, Jake took his post to anticipate any emergency or medical needs occurring during the game.
Reports of the collision came shortly afterwards. Barry noted that, "EHS was notified by our supervisor to avoid talking about the incident, for two reasons. Since it was off campus, we were not involved, and they want to make sure that our own personal interpretations do not become what people perceive as being what happened."
Stillwater Police and EMS responded immediately, aided by the many first responders who were marching in the parade itself. News spilled over to the stadium, where crowds became aware of the events. Barry and the other EMTs were ready for any activity that followed the crash.
Just a freshman, barely two months into college, yet ready to serve his new community, Jake Barry reflected well on the training he received here in East Brunswick.
*Editor's note: Jake was selected as the TAPinto East Brunswick "Graduate who Bears Responsibility for 2015." The author of this article received a Master's degree from Oklahoma State University.