President Bollinger’s Message Regarding the Tragic Accident in Honduras
January 13, 2016
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
I am very sorry to report that, earlier today, three members of the Columbia community died in a bus accident in Honduras. Columbia College student Olivia Erhardt and Barnard College student Daniella Moffson lost their lives while volunteering for the Columbia chapter of Global Brigades, an organization providing medical and other support to struggling populations around the world. Also lost in the accident was Abigail Flanagan, a nurse practitioner at Columbia University Medical Center and a General Studies student, who was a member of this humanitarian effort. 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. No endeavor more proudly exemplifies the traditions and values of our University.
Other Columbia students were injured in the bus accident. We are working to ensure that they are receiving all necessary medical attention. Dr. Samuel Seward, Medical Director for Health Services, and other Columbia support personnel are on their way now to Honduras. The students who were not badly injured and who are able to return to the United States are in the process of doing so. We have contacted the families of all involved and are closely monitoring the situation to render all the help we can.