University of Brandeis bus accident: 1 dead, 2 dozen injured

Brandeis University said a student, Vanessa Mark, was killed.

WALTHAM, Mass. – A college student died while more than two dozen other passengers and the driver were injured when a bus returning from a hockey game crashed into a tree in a Boston suburb, authorities said.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the bus returned Brandeis University of a hockey game at Northeastern University in Boston around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when it crashed in Waltham, not far from campus, according to testimony from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Waltham Police Commissioner Kevin O’Connell.

A student died at the scene. The remaining 26 passengers and the bus driver suffered “injuries of varying degrees of severity” and were taken to area hospitals, the statement said.

Brandeis said in a statement early Sunday that 17 of the injured had been discharged from hospital and the rest had been admitted.

“Given the number of casualties and the various hospitals to which they were transported, it is taking time to establish the status of everyone involved, including which passengers are Brandeis students,” the statement said.

Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz said on Sunday afternoon that police had identified the student killed as student Vanessa Mark.

“While on leave of absence, Vanessa has lived in Waltham and has been an active and valued member of the Brandeis community,” said Liebowitz in a letter to students. “We have stayed in touch with Vanessa’s family and will continue to be in touch with them over the coming days and we will keep you updated on how we will honor Vanessa’s memory.”

He said university leaders had decided to cancel classes on Monday and Tuesday so students could return to their loved ones earlier than the school’s scheduled Thanksgiving break.

The accident is being further investigated and police are asking for witnesses to come forward.

Brandeis said grief counselors are available at the university’s counseling center.

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Laura Coffey

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