Jewish student among 3 from Columbia U killed in Honduras accident

(JTA) — Three Columbia University students, including an Orthodox Jewish woman, were killed in a bus accident while on a volunteer mission in Honduras.

Daniella Moffson, 21, a Barnard College junior from Manhattan, was killed in the accident Wednesday near the capital of Tegucigalpa. Also killed were Olivia Erhardt, 20, a sophomore, and Abigail Flanagan, 45, a general studies student and nurse practitioner at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger informed students of the deaths in an email Wednesday night.

The bus veered off the road and fell on its side into a ravine, the New York Daily News reported. It is not known what caused the crash, which also injured 12.

Moffson’s body reportedly will be sent home for a prompt burial. The local Chabad emissary intervened to insure there would be no autopsy, which is against religious Jewish law, according to Israel National News.

The students were among a group of 25 working in Honduras through the university’s Medical Brigade program. They had also been to Nicaragua, according to the student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator.

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