Students and staff at the University of Victoria came together Tuesday afternoon to remember two first-year biology students who died in a bus crash near Bamfield Friday.
An hour of reflection and support was organized at the BiblioCafé from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The gathering for the two young UVic students killed in a tragic crash has finished. Some are still inside accessing support services and being there for one another. pic.twitter.com/0Le76JpAuh
— Julian Kolsut (@juliankolsut) September 17, 2019
Emma Machado of Winnipeg and John Geerdes from Iowa were the two 18-year-olds who ded when a charter bus them and 43 other university students veered off a remote dirt road southwest of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.
The students and two teaching assistants were on their way to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre for a field trip.
Robin Hicks, acting dean of the Faculty of Science, said in a statement that Machado and Geerdes showed a love of marine biology and a passion for the natural world.
At Machado’s former high school in Winnipeg, she was remembered as an active volunteer and a caring person.
A spokeswoman for the private all-girls Balmoral Hall School said younger girls looked up to Machado.
“She was adored by our younger students who she volunteered with, whenever she could,” said Jennifer Pawluk.
Machado was active in many student groups and worked in after-school care for younger kids.
“She just had a way about her that she would light up any room that she walked into. She was a lovely, lovely person,” Pawluk said.
Geerdes was a varsity soccer player who described UVic as his dream school. His friends and teammates described him as kind and intelligent leader.
University spokeswoman Denise Helm said one student injured in the crash remained in hospital Tuesday. Helm could not provide further details.
She said students from the campus have been making the trip to the Bamfield centre every fall for at least 18 years.
Machado and Geerdes were just weeks into their academic studies, Hicks said.
With files from The Canadian Press