3 Columbia Univ. Students killed In Honduras Bus Crash

San Juancito, Honduras – A trip to the airport turned deadly for an Orthodox Jewish student from New York who was among three women killed on Wednesday in Honduras.

The woman has been identified as 21 year old Daniella Moffson from Manhattan.

The two other fatalities are 20 year old Olivia Varley Erhardt, also a Columbia University student, and 45 year old Abi Flanager, an American health care worker. According to CNN.

Yanky Meyer of Misaskim told that he had been informed that next of kin had been notified and that the medical examiner had agreed to forego an autopsy.

Meyer said that arrangements are being made to fly Moffson back home tomorrow for burial.

All three women were part of a group working with Global Brigades, an international non-profit agency that pairs university volunteers from North America and Europe with local groups to help disadvantaged communities improve their quality of life by meeting health and economic goals.

According to a statement released by Columbia University on their Facebook page, a group of medical and support personnel from Columbia are currently en route to Honduras in order to provide additional assistance to other passengers who were on the bus, which also included students from Columbia’s sister school, Barnard College.

Twelve more Americans were injured and are in stable condition according to Reinaldo Canales, administrator for the Valle de Angeles Adventist Hospital.

The crash took place on a highway east of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. Officials reported that the bus was traveling from the town of San Juancito when it veered off a road and fell at least 260 feet into a ravine.

“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all those affected by this tragedy,” said the Global Brigades statement, attributed to co-founder Steven Atamian. Phone messages left at the organization’s headquarters in Seattle were not immediately returned.

The U.S. Embassy in Honduras said in a statement it was in close contact with local authorities and working to provide consular assistance to any who need it.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Three volunteers from the US died in Honduras, after their bus crashed into a gully.

    The victims, 21-year-old Daniella Moffson, 19-year-old Olivia Erhardt, and 45-year-old Abigail Flanagan, were all students at Columbia University and were in Honduras as part of a volunteer project to help the poor.

    Columbia University President Lee Bollinger said, “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.”

    The bus was carrying at least 12 others from the US who were injured in the accident. They had been on their way to the airport for their flight home at the time.

    The local Chabad emissary arranged for the treatment of Moffson, who was an Orthodox Jew. He ensured that the coroner would not perform an autopsy on her body and that she would be quickly sent home to New York for burial.

    Her father told New York Daily News that Daniella loved helping others and wanted to become a pediatrician. “My daughter was perfection. She was a beautiful girl, beautiful in and out. She did this because she was a good girl,” he said.

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