Columbia University IDs victims in Honduran bus crash

This photo courtesy of El Heraldo de Honduras newspaper shows a bus on its side along the highway between the town of San Juancito and the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Two New York college students and a U.S. health-care worker died Wednesday in this Central American nation when their bus crashed while taking them to the airport to fly home after a volunteer mission helping poor Hondurans. (El Heraldo de Honduras via AP)


NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University identified the three women who died in a bus crash in Honduras while on a humanitarian mission to the Central American country.

The three were killed Wednesday when the bus crashed while taking them to the airport to fly home after a volunteer mission helping poor Hondurans.

Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger identified the victims in an email to students Wednesday night as Columbia student Olivia Erhardt, Barnard student Daniella Moffson and Abigail Flanagan, a nurse practitioner at Columbia University Medical Center and a student at the university’s School of General Studies.

He said other Columbia students were injured in the accident. Bollinger said they were volunteering for the Columbia chapter of U.S.-based Global Brigades, which organizes international health and development missions.

“This terrible and tragic loss is all the greater because these individuals were dedicating their passion and very special talents to serving those in need,” Bollinger said. “No endeavor more proudly exemplifies the traditions and values of our university.”

Barnard is a women-only college affiliated with Columbia. Barnard President Debora Spar and Dean Avis Hinkson said in a separate email to students that they were heartbroken at the deaths.

“For now, we join with all members of our community in mourning Daniella, Olivia, and Abigail, and send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues,” they said.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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