RIC professor killed by pickup truck in central NY

Jennifer Collins-Cook

Rhode Island College is offering counseling to students and flying flags at half-staff Monday as it mourns an English professor who was struck and killed by a pickup truck in central New York state.

Police said Jennifer Cook, 43, of Providence, was walking with her mother Friday afternoon in Syracuse when the truck veered across the road and struck them. Cook died and her mother, 72-year-old Barbara Cook, remained hospitalized. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

The pickup truck, driven by 86-year-old James McDonald of Chittenango, N.Y., came to a rest in a snowbank.

Jennifer Cook was an associate professor of English at the Providence school and taught aspiring teachers. She also was executive director of the college's Rhode Island Writing Project, which aims to improve reading and writing across Rhode Island.

Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriulo said Cook's death has shocked and saddened the college community.

NBC 10 News contributed to this report.