Three U.S. students killed in Honduras bus crash

A  bus rests on its side Wednesday between San Juancito and the Honduras capital of Tegucigalpa.

Story highlights

  • Students from Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia University killed in bus crash
  • They were traveling among medical volunteers through Central American countries

(CNN)Three students affiliated with New York's Columbia University died in a bus accident in Honduras while volunteering with a medical program, according to Barnard College's president, who released the students' names.

Barnard College junior Daniella Moffson, Columbia College sophomore Olivia Erhardt and Columbia University student Abigail Flanagan, who was also a nurse practitioner at the Columbia University Medical Center, were killed Wednesday, President Debora Spar said in a statement.
    Barnard is a private college affiliated with Columbia University and one of the women's liberal arts schools that make up the so-called Seven Sisters, while Columbia College is an undergraduate school at Columbia University.
    Several other students were injured, including four Barnard students, and Columbia medical and support personnel were en route to Honduras to provide assistance, Spar said in her statement.
    Fourteen people were injured altogether, said Oscar Triminio, a fire spokesman.
    "We will provide further information to the community as it becomes available. For now, we join with all members of our community in mourning Daniella, Olivia, and Abigail, and send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues," Spar wrote.
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    The three were traveling with 25 other Barnard and Columbia students as part of Global Brigades, a student-run nonprofit striving to serve "under-resourced communities around the world," the president said. Their bus crashed east of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.
    The Global Brigades website says the three had all recently met their goal of raising $1,653 each for the nonprofit.
    "We at Global Brigades are deeply saddened by today's tragedy in Honduras. A bus carrying Columbia University students and other volunteers was involved in an accident that resulted in the deaths of two students and a licensed health care professional and several injured students," the group said in a statement.
    The group had passed through Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua over the previous week, working with local doctors and pharmacists, and were slated to return to the United States on Tuesday, according to the undergraduate-run Columbia Daily Spectator.
    "Our hearts are heavy as we offer condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in today's bus accident," James Nealon, U.S. ambassador to Honduras, wrote Wednesday on Twitter.