Freshman Track and Field athlete Merzedes Hart was killed last night in a pedestrian versus vehicle crash near the intersection of Highway 6 and 120th Street in Waverly, Nebraska. Lancaster County Sheriffs Office said in a release that Hart was walking in the area when a car struck her and fled the scene.
“The involved vehicle and driver have been located and at the present time no arrests or citations have been issued,” the release said. “The investigation is in its early stages and is ongoing.”
Hart was a four-year varsity letter winner from Abraham Lincoln High School and secured several school records before joining the UNO Track and Field team.
UNO Track and Field Head Coach Chris Richardson said the UNO track and field team is smaller than most, and the team is like family. Richardson said Merzedes will be missed dearly.
“We are all grateful for the time we had to get to know Merzedes as the bright and driven student-athlete that she was,” Richardson said. “As we mourn her loss, we ask you to please keep her family, teammates, and all who knew and loved her in your thoughts.”
UNO Athletics said in a statement this morning that some of Hart’s teammates might be competing in a track meet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In the release, the organization pleaded with media to respect the team’s privacy by not contacting the students or their families about the loss.