'Wounds in our heart': Seattle college mourns 4 students

AP News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2015 7:15 PM
'Wounds in our heart': Seattle college mourns 4 students

SEATTLE (AP) — Students and faculty, some arm in arm, filed into a private memorial service in a lecture hall at a Seattle college Friday to honor four international students killed when an amphibious tour vehicle struck their charter bus.

The victims came from different parts of the world and ranged from 17 to 49 years old. They were all new to North Seattle College and were set to begin classes next week.

They and dozens of other students were on a tour of Seattle landmarks when the crash occurred Thursday on a crowded bridge.

"As you know, the debris did clear early this morning, but at North Seattle College there are still wounds in our hearts, and it's going to take a while for our students and employees here to get through that," the school's president, Warren Brown, said at a news conference Friday.

"For someone to come from another country, to learn here, to be excited about an opportunity ... and to have this tragedy occur, is painful."

The four students were identified as Runjie Song, 17, of China; Privando Putradanto, 18, of Indonesia; Mami Sato, 36, of Japan; and Claudia Derschmidt, 49, of Austria, who was in Seattle with her 15-year-old son.

Derschmidt's son was not on the bus at the time of the crash, college spokeswoman Maria Lamarca Anderson said.

The international students were on a tour of landmarks such as Pike Place Market when a so-called duck boat ferrying tourists across the Aurora Bridge suddenly swerved into their oncoming charter bus. The crash also injured dozens of people.

Student Cassandra Miller, who carried white carnations into the memorial, said the accident was "sad, especially for the parents in other countries."

The crash has shaken the diverse school of about 14,000 students, Brown said.

"It's particularly painful for us knowing that the students who were on the bus were just about to start the school year Monday," he said.

Meanwhile, a family from Fremont, California, that was on the duck boat said they were thankful for the people who rushed to their aid.

Thirty-year-old Katie Moody, who suffered a broken clavicle, spoke to reporters from her hospital bed. The Moodys were in Seattle for a family birthday.

"Hearing the impact, that was the scariest part," Katie Moody said.

Her father, 57-year-old Greg Moody, received cuts to his face.

"We were very fortunate, very fortunate, and I thank God for that," he said as he stood by his daughter's bed.

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This story has been corrected to show the 18-year-old victim's name is Privando Putradanto, not Privaudo Putradauto, and Mami Sato was 36, not 37.