Update on Bus Accident 7 p.m., Sept. 27

UPDATE: 7 p.m., September 27, 2015

Dear Campus:

It is with a heavy heart that I must share more tragic news with you. Today, Sept. 27, another one of our students died from injuries sustained in the Aurora Bridge accident. This student now makes five students in all who have lost their lives as a result of the devastating multi-vehicle accident that occurred on Thursday, Sept. 24.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these students, as well as all of the students and staff who are still being treated for their injuries. Out of respect for the fifth student’s family, we will not be releasing her name to the public.

Tomorrow is the first day of a new academic year, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the five students who lost their lives would have started classes at North for the first time. There are no words or actions that can possibly provide the comfort that’s so desperately needed during this time, but I am tremendously proud of the way everyone on our campus has pulled together to ensure all those affected by this tragedy have the support they need to effectively cope.

Our sole priority at this time is to ensure that you and anyone affected by this tragedy has the support you need. To ensure this, we will have two private support centers on campus this week. The centers will provide access to counseling services and faith-based professionals. 

Many of you have reached out to offer your support and ways to help. Please know that I am extremely grateful for your generosity and that which has been extended by this entire city and even throughout the world. We are currently working with the college’s Foundation (i.e. Education Fund) to explore ways for employees, students and members of the greater community to donate financial contributions in order to provide targeted support to those affected by the accident. I will share more information about this with you as soon as it becomes available. Although the immediate need for blood has passed, this is always an excellent way to help our community, and I encourage you to donate if you are able. And as always, please continue to keep these students, staff and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Additionally, there has also been interest in holding a campus-wide vigil for everyone affected by this tragedy. As soon as information becomes available on this, I will share it with you.

None of us could have ever envisioned the start of the academic year unfolding in this way. But this terrible accident has also shown me and so many others that our community is incredibly strong and resilient, and by pulling together in this way, we will become stronger. I am confident that despite this tragedy, we will have an incredible year, centered on making sure our students are as successful as possible. Let’s work every day to honor the memory of the students we lost, and we can best do this by making this year the best ever in North’s history. 

Sincerely,

Warren

Warren J. Brown, Ed.D.
President, North Seattle College
 

UPDATE: 6:40 p.m., September 25, 2015

North Seattle College has created an on-campus private support center to help assist students and families directly involved in yesterday's bus tragedy.

This support center is located in College Center Building Room 1353A. Hours of operation for this center are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. The college will continue to operate the support center into next week as needed.

UPDATE: 5 p.m., September 25, 2015

The Medical Examiner's Office has released the name of the minor who was among four North Seattle College international students who were tragically killed yesterday, Sept. 24, in a multi-vehicle accident on Aurora Bridge.  

The students, who would have begun their first quarter at North Seattle College on the start of classes on Monday, Sept. 28, represented four countries: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan.

The names of the deceased are:

  • Runjie Song, a 17-year-old female from China
  • Claudia Derschmidt, a 49-year-old female from Austria
  • Privando Putradanto, an 18-year-old male from Indonesia
  • Mami Sato, a 36-year-old female from Japan

North Seattle College's immediate priority at this time is to ensure the families of the deceased students have the support they need during this terrible tragedy.

College staff is working with City of Seattle officials to coordinate and communicate accommodations, travel arrangements and support for the families who lost loved ones. 

For students and families who were directly involved in this tragedy, a private, on-campus support center has been established that includes grief counselors, faith-based professionals, multilingual staff and city services.

North Seattle College extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased students, as well as to the students and employee who sustained injuries.

For all media inquiries, please contact North Seattle College PIO Melissa Mixon at 206-934-7791 or 512-934-8155.

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m., September 25, 2015

From North Seattle College President Warren Brown:

Our immediate priority at this time is to ensure that the families of the four students who were killed yesterday in a multi-vehicle accident on Aurora Bridge have the support that they need during this terrible tragedy.

The college is working with the city to coordinate and communicate accommodations, travel arrangements and support for the families who lost loved ones. The college and city are also working to establish a private off campus “Family Services Center” for the families who lost loved ones or had students injured in this accident.  

For students and families who were directly involved in this tragedy, an on-campus private support center has also been established and includes grief counselors, faith-based professionals, multilingual staff and city services.                                                                                                         

We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased students, as well as to the students and employees who sustained injuries. No words are adequate to express the absolute pain and sorrow we all feel as a result of this devastating news.

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m. September 25, 2015

Corrections on name and age of deceased students

Please note corrections on name and age of the deceased students whose information can be confirmed: 

  • Claudia Derschmidt, a 49-year-old female from Austria
  • Privando Putradanto, an 18-year-old male from Indonesia
  • Mami Sato, a 36-year-old female from Japan

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m., Sept. 25, 2015

Four students in North Seattle College's International Program were tragically killed yesterday, Sept. 24, in a multi-vehicle accident on Aurora Bridge.
 
The four students, who would have begun their first quarter at North Seattle College on Monday, Sept. 28, represented four countries: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan.
 
One of the deceased was a minor; therefore, the college cannot release this student's name. The three deceased students whose information can be confirmed are:
·      Claudia Derschmidt, a 49-year-old female from Austria
·      Privaudo Putradauto, an 18-year-old male from Indonesia
·      Mami Sato, a 37-year-old female from Japan
 
The college has worked with government officials to assist in contacting the next of kin of the deceased.
 
The college is also working with the city to help coordinate and communicate accommodations, travel arrangements and support for the families who lost loved ones.

Our hearts are with the families and friends of everyone involved in this tragic accident. 
 
For all media inquiries, please contact North Seattle College PIO Melissa Mixon at 206-934-7791 or 512-934-8155.

UPDATE: 7:30 a.m. Sept. 25, 2015

Four students in North Seattle College’s International Program were tragically killed yesterday, Sept. 24, in a multi-vehicle accident on Aurora Bridge.

Out of respect for the families of these students, the college cannot release their names at this time. We can confirm their nationalities however. The four students represented four countries: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan.

The college has worked with government officials to assist in contacting the next of kin for the deceased.

Our hearts are with their families and friends.  

Update: Thursday, September 24, 7:25 p.m.

Go here for information for families impacted by the Aurora Bridge incident.

Update: Thursday, September 24, 6:40 p.m.

Today, the North Seattle College community learned devastating news that four of our students were tragically killed in a vehicle accident on the Aurora Bridge. Additionally, several students remain in critical condition, and other students and a North employee sustained serious injuries.

Because the deceased were international students, government officials are working to contact next of kin.

We extend our deepest condolences to the families of these deceased students, as well as to the students and employee who sustained injuries. No words are adequate to express the absolute pain and sorrow we all feel as a result of receiving this devastating news.

Our immediate concern right now is to ensure that our students and employees receive the support they need. Because of that, we will have counselors, multilingual staff and faith-based professionals onsite for as long as is needed. 

Many have reached out about how they can help during this difficult time. Today's accident has strained blood supplies, and Bloodworks Northwest has issued an urgent appeal for blood donations. Details on how to make an appointment to donate blood can be found here.

The entire North Seattle College community thanks the emergency first-responders and the local doctors, nurses and medical staff who have worked so hard to care for the injured. Campus leadership would also like to thank the many campus employees who volunteered to help our students today. 

Our hearts go out to every student, employee and individual involved in this tragic accident. It will be a long road to recovery for the campus, but we will move forward as we always have: together, as one community.

Update: Thursday, September 24, 3:00 pm

Media Statement

SEATTLE, WA—3 p.m.

North Seattle College is working closely with Seattle Police Department, Seattle Fire Department and nine hospitals to monitor the condition of our students and employees involved in today’s horrific vehicle accident on the Aurora Bridge with multiple deaths and injuries.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our number one priority.

We have limited information at this time, but in an effort to be as transparent as possible, we would like to update you right now with what we know.

Two buses carrying students and employees from our International Programs were traveling around 11:15 a.m. today to Safeco Field as part of a new student orientation.

One of the buses, carrying approximately 45 students and employees, collided with a “Ride the Ducks” tour vehicle. At this time, we don’t yet know the exact number of students on the bus or the status of their injuries. However, we are working closely with authorities to learn more.

Students who were involved in the accident and were able to leave the scene were transported to campus, where we have counselors, multilingual staff and faith-based professionals available to help. These students were also able to contact their families directly to let them know they are safe. Students who are able to leave the campus will be shuttled to their residences here in Seattle.

We are communicating with employees and students regularly to ensure they are kept updated with the latest information. We are in the process of determining which individuals were involved in the accident so that we can communicate with their families. We know our campus community and families have many questions, so we’ve established a hotline that they may call. This number is 206-934-3672.

Our hearts go out to every student, employee and individual involved in this tragic accident. At this time, our main focus is to concentrate on the well-being of our students and to notify their families as quickly as possible as we learn information. We will update you with more information as soon as we have it.

For all media inquiries, please contact North Seattle College PIO Melissa Mixon at 206-934-7791 or 512-934-8155.

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Update: Thursday, September 24, 1:00 pm

At approximately 11: 15 a.m. today (Thursday, September 24), students and staff members with North Seattle College’s International Program were involved in a vehicle accident while traveling on the Aurora Bridge.

The accident occurred when a charter bus traveling with the students collided with a Ride the Ducks tour vehicle.

Students and employees who were involved in the accident are being transported to campus where counselors will be on hand to support them.

We are working to learn the status of all students and employees involved in the accident and will provide an update as soon as possible.

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 at 10:08:17

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