Polly Rogers, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) college student, was killed when she toppled out of a party bus window and was run over by two vehicles.
The horrific tragedy has loved ones mourning Rogers, 20, a former high school cheerleader remembered for her caring nature with children. The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. on the evening of May 1, 2018 as the bus headed for a local bar.
The Kappa Sigma Fraternity “suspended the operations of the Kappa-Omega Chapter at UNC Charlotte” as a result of Polly Miranda Rogers’ death, according to WBTV. It’s not yet clear what role, if any, the frat played in the death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rogers Fell Out of a Window of the Moving Party Bus, Reports Say
Authorities told WSOC-TV that Rogers “fell out of a window on the right side of the bus as it was moving and landed in the center lane of North Tryon Street before being struck.” Passengers had opened the window. Between 55-60 people were on the party bus at the time.
Alcohol is allowed on the party bus but only for those 21 and older, according to WBTV.
A parent of another youth on the bus described the horrific scene to WSOC-TV, saying, “The cars hit her before they could even get the bus driver to stop the bus. My heart goes out to the parents because my son was standing right there.”
The bus was operated by Charlotte Party Charters, according to WFAE-TV.
2. Rogers’ Sorority Started a GoFundMe Page to Help Her Family, Calling Her an ‘Emerging Leader’
People have contributed more than $13,000 to a GoFundMe page designed to help Rogers’ family with funeral expenses. It was organized by Rogers’ sorority.
“Hi all, thank you so much for the outpouring of support given to the Rogers during this time,” the page reads.
“Polly was an emerging leader in our chapter and one of the friendliest people you would ever meet. She could always be found in the common areas of the house greeting sisters after their day at classes and making sure their day was going well. She will be missed fiercely. Out of respect for her family and our sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha, we refrain from commenting to the press at this time. All funds raised will be given directly to the Rogers family.”
Her cover photo on Facebook carried the words “Zeta Tau Alpha.” She belonged to that sorority.
3. Polly Was Studying Special Education in College
According to her Facebook page, Polly Rogers wrote that she “studies Special Education at UNC Charlotte,” lives in Charlotte and was from Charlotte. Her page is filled with fun-loving photos that show her with family and friends.
Not much is visible on her public page, but she did sometimes make philosophical comments on it, such as when she wrote, “A smooth sea never made a strong sailor.” She wrote in a 2012 post: “Theres no difference between the word family and the word friend.” She posted numerous glamour shots on Instagram. One photo simply read, “Genuinely happy.”
4. Rogers’ Former Cheerleading Coach Remembered Her Love of Children
In high school, Rogers was a cheerleader, photos on Facebook show. Her former coach, Kristin Jones, told WSOC: “It doesn’t really seem fair to lose someone so young. It’s such a tragic, unexpected accident.”
Jones told the television station that Rogers loved children and was a volunteer at a local hospital. She recalled to WSOC how Rogers
had “such a special spirit.”
5. Polly’s Professors Remembered Her as Warm & Caring
UNCC released a statement that described how professors felt about Rogers. “As we begin to understand the circumstances surrounding Polly’s sudden passing, we also reflect on her life and her time with us,” the university wrote. “Polly was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and was studying special education in the Cato College of Education. Her professors describe her as warm and caring, as do others who had the pleasure of knowing her.”
The fraternity also released a statement, according to CBS News: “”he Brothers of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Polly Rogers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rogers family and to her loved ones,” it read. “We are in the process of conducting an investigation of the event on Tuesday evening. The Kappa Sigma Fraternity will fully cooperate with all investigations of the University and local authorities.”