Iowa State student killed in Des Moines car crash remembered as bright, joyful

Kevin Truong

Kevin Truong

Jake Webster

Kevin Truong was killed early last Thursday in Des Moines when a woman — who, according to police reports, said she had been drinking alcohol — struck his vehicle with her own. Truong was the oldest of three children and was a senior in software engineering at Iowa State.

Truong, a native of Des Moines, was a graduate in the class of 2018 at North High School and Central Academy. The director of Central Academy, Jessica Gogerty, said Truong was someone who “lit up the room with joy.” A vigil was held for Truong last Friday, and the Des Moines Public Schools offered their sympathies to his friends and family.

Truong was an “engaged” participant in the ISU 4U Promise learning community.

Jennifer Leptien, a program manager in the Iowa State learning communities said Truong “was a bright and committed student with a promising future.”

“While he was set to just begin his second year in software engineering, his dedication as a student enabled him to complete extensive coursework prior to entering college,” Leptien said. “As a result, he was classified as a senior [at Iowa State].”

Truong’s friends told the Des Moines Register that he liked to play video games and the piano, and his teachers said his intelligence was “remarkable.”

Darrick Burrage, who had been a childhood friend of Truong and is a freshman in performing arts at Iowa State, told WHO-TV they had been playing video games late into the night and they had been playing when Truong left just prior to the car crash.

“We had so many plans to travel and study abroad [and] he was the person that made me want to do that,” Burrage said.

Kevin Li, who attended classes alongside Truong at Central Academy, said he was a “cherished friend and community member.”

An obituary posted in Vietnamese said in part that Truong’s passing will leave a great grief in everyone’s hearts.

“Kevin was a bright student with a great sense of humor,” Leptien said. “His friendly smile and warm personality made him instantly approachable. It was such a great pleasure to get to know him and support him during his first year [at Iowa State].”

Resources for students impacted by this loss include the following:

Student Counseling Service: (515) 294-5056

Thielen Student Health Center: (515) 294-5801

Student Assistance and Outreach: (515) 294-1020

Resources for faculty and staff impacted by this loss include the following:

Employee Assistance Program: (1-800) 327-4692

University Ombuds: (515) 294-0268 or [email protected]

University Human Resources: (515) 294-4800 or [email protected]