Yesterday afternoon, the tight-knit Pacific Union College community was hard-hit by the news that one of its students was killed and six others injured when a Ford Expedition SUV in which the students were traveling overturned on Deer Park Road on the way to the Angwin, California Campus. As of last night, the names of the students involved had not been publicly released in order to allow officials to notify the students' family members. Today, Pacific Union College updated the story, releasing the name of the student killed in the crash, Fen Pan from Beijing, China. The update was issued on the college's official Facebook page. The official statement follows in its entirety:
Today, the PUC campus community mourns the loss of Fen Pan, an international student from Beijing, China, who died as the result of a car accident Deer Park, Calif., shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, March 28. Fen was one of seven people in the vehicle. The accident remains under investigation.
Injured in the accident were Yejin An, from Guam; Ruth Bahta, from Carmichael, Calif.; Soon Joo Hwang and Issac Hwang from Chino Hills, Calif.; Jihyun Kim, from Guam; and Jaeyeong Choi, from Colton, Calif. All have been released from area hospitals.
Fen, 20, graduated from Loma Linda Academy in 2014. She was studying music and pre-dentistry at PUC. On behalf of the entire campus community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we express our deepest condolences to Fen’s family in Beijing; her host family, the Saesims, of Redlands, Calif.; and her friends, fellow students, and professors.
“Our campus community is saddened by the loss of our dear, sweet Fen Pan. Her love for life was contagious amongst her family and friends. Her beautiful smile, her ability to connect and make close, lifelong friends, and her genuine commitment to loved ones will always be a cherished memory,” says Lisa Bissell Paulson, vice president for student services.
PUC students have reacted with compassion and emotion to the news and are honoring and remembering Fen in many ways, as well as lifting up the others involved. Last night, members of the campus gathered in Scales Chapel to pray together. Students wrote personal messages and prayers and pinned them to a symbolic cross located in the front of the chapel. Pastors, chaplains, and counselors provided much needed support to the participants.
A memorial service is planned for this Thursday, March 31, at 10 a.m. at the PUC Church. More details will be announced as they become available.
“The atmosphere at PUC is very sad right now as Monday was the first day of the spring quarter, and this is a rather tragic way to begin this final quarter of an otherwise very positive school year,” college president Heather J. Knight told the Adventist Review. “We will continue to provide spiritual and emotional support for our campus community in the days to come,” she said.
Campus chaplains, residence hall deans, pastoral staff, and counselors remain available for students, faculty, and staff. The Career & Counseling Center will be extending their hours well into the evening this week for walk-in grief support services. Their hours are as follows:
Tuesday, March 29: 6-10 p.m. Wednesday, March 30: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, March 31: 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 1: 1-5 p.m.
There will be a student grief support group co-sponsored by both the Career & Counseling Center and the department of psychology and social work Wednesday, March 30, at 6 p.m. Additionally, there will be a faculty and staff grief support group co-sponsored by Napa County Mental Health Services and the Career & Counseling Center Wednesday, March 30, at 12 p.m. and again at 1 p.m. The college’s regular on-call counselor is also available 24/7 at (707) 965-6789.
We ask for your continued prayers for Fen’s family, friends, and loved ones.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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