01/10/12 — Mount Olive coach stable after collision with car

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Mount Olive coach stable after collision with car

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 10, 2012 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A Mount Olive College assistant track coach is in fair condition today after being hit by a car while jogging Monday morning.

Jacqueline Joan "Jackie" Kirby, 24, of Spence Avenue, Goldsboro, is being treated at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville after being transferred there from Wayne Memorial Hospital.

A Pitt spokesperson would not comment on the extent of her injuries.

Ms. Kirby was running at around midnight along the eastbound lane of Talton Avenue just west of the road's intersection with North Center Street when she was struck by a vehicle traveling in the same direction that was being operated by Jorge Chairez Zamora, 24, of Grantham School Road.

According to police, Ms. Kirby was wearing reflective tennis shoes, but had on dark clothing.

The impact of the collision threw Ms. Kirby onto the hood of the vehicle, breaking the windshield and side mirror before she landed in a ditch.

Police said Zamora attempted to call 911, but that his cell phone did not work. He drove to North Center Street where he ran to a house on Dill Street where a resident went to check on Ms. Kirby.

No charges were filed.

Friends of Ms. Kirby have set up a fund at Southern Bank and Trust Co. for her.

"She is a great person," said Laura Buhler, who spearheaded efforts to establish the fund and whose son is on the track team. "She is a great coach."

Ms. Buhler said Ms. Kirby's mother is driving in from Pennsylvania to be with her daughter.

"I do Thanksgiving and Easter and Christmas (dinner) for the (college) kids unable to go home," Ms. Buhler said. "Jackie always comes and spends Thanksgiving and Christmas with us. She was with us New Year's."

Ms. Buhler said she wanted to set up the fund to help Ms. Kirby as she recovers.

The fund is in Ms. Kirby's name at Southern Bank. People can go by the bank for more information or to make a donation. Ms. Buhler said she hopes to put collection containers in local convenience stores, too.

The Mount Olive College website had added a posting by Monday afternoon asking everyone to keep Ms. Kirby in "your thoughts and prayers."

The website says although the assistant track coach suffered serious injuries, that she is expected to make a full recovery.

According to the MOC website, Ms. Kirby is a graduate of Keystone College where she earned a bachelor's degree in visual arts with a concentration in photography and graphic design. She joined the college in the fall of 2009.

MOC's biographical information notes that while at Keystone, Ms. Kirby was a three-time cross country conference champion (twice in the Northeast Athletic Conference, senior year in the Colonial States Athletic Conference) and still holds school records for fastest time in both the 5K and 6K. She was a two-time all-region selection and qualified for the NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country National Championship in her junior and senior years.

Ms. Kirby was the 2009 CSAC Track and Field Athlete of the Year and qualified for the 2009 NCAA Division III Women's Track and Field Championship in the 5,000 meters and the mile. She holds school records in six different events.