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Northwestern Oklahoma State University mourns loss of rodeo team member

Rylee Miller, 21, died Monday when her sport utility vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a tractor trailer. She was a member of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo team.
by Adam Kemp Published: January 15, 2013

— Rylee Miller was just beginning to feel at home.

Miller, 21, left home in Brookeville, Kan., last summer to start her first year at Northwestern Oklahoma State University after she earned a scholarship to ride with the Rangers rodeo team.

She died Monday when her sport utility vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic on a Woods County road and collided with a tractor-trailer, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

Rodeo coach Stockton Graves said Miller had come to Northwestern with a lot of energy. She was ready to ride as a Ranger and was excited by the prospect of gaining another set of family and friends in Alva.

“These were cowboys and cowgirls, and we are a real tight-knit community,” Graves said. “The team was saying last night that they might not have known her real well, but they could tell she felt at home.”

Graves said he gathered his team Monday night to deliver the news.

“We had a team meeting last night, and we brought the counselors in so if anyone needed to talk they could,” he said. “I think they are coping well. We shared stories and just tried to remember Rylee as she was. She always had a smile on her face, and she was happy with her situation and that she was getting to rodeo.”

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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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