The University of Victoria and the UVic Students’ Society has organized an hour of reflection and support today following a bus crash that killed two students and injured at least a dozen others.
Support staff will be available to anyone needing help dealing with their grief.
Two 18-year-old first-year biology students died when a charter bus carrying them and 43 other students veered off a remote dirt road southwest of Port Alberni on Friday.
They have been identified as Emma Machado of Winnipeg and John Geerdes of Iowa City, Iowa.
They were among a group of students travelling to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre for a field trip.
Emma’s family in Manitoba say they cannot believe what happened.
“We were devastated, we still are, our lives will never be the same,” said mother Ethel MacIntosh.
Her family described her as loving, outgoing and the funny one in the family.
John was a varsity soccer player who came from Iowa, after saying UVic was his dream school.
“[I asked] why are you going so far away? and he was like oh no that place is great for me, I really found from the schooling and that place what I want to do… it’s a beautiful place,” said Jose Fajardo, soccer coach for the City High Men’s team.
The investigation into the cause of the crash continues.
The community gathering will be held at UVic from 4-5 p.m. at the BiblioCafé.