The family of UVic student Emma Machado, 18, is remembering their sister and daughter for her compassion and ambition following the fatal bus crash near Port Alberni that killed Machado and 18-year-old John Geerdes. (Courtesy of Samantha Machado)

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

With support staff stationed outside the door, hundreds from the University of Victoria community crammed into the BiblioCafe Tuesday afternoon – to honour, reflect and remember in the face of tragedy.

UVic and the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) hosted the community gathering on the campus following the death of two students in a bus crash on Friday. First year students Emma Machado and John Geerdes were on their way to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre when their bus rolled over on a gravel road near Port Alberni.

READ ALSO: Two killed after bus crashes taking university students to Bamfield

READ ALSO: UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

UVic created space for students, professors, campus staff and community members to unite and collectively process the bus crash. The families of the two students who died in the crash were on campus today.

University representatives offered give brief remarks before opening the floor to the UVSS board members.

“If you need support and haven’t asked for it, please ask for it,” one speaker said.

Students were invited to mingle and talk with support workers and build community. Attendees were encouraged to pet the big Newfoundland pup on hand as a therapy dog or enjoy a quite space.

“UVic is built on resiliency,” one speaker said to end the formal part of the gathering.

The university asked that the media not record during the community gathering.


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John Geerdes, 18, is one of two UVic students killed in a bus crash near Bamfield Friday night. His teammates and friends in his hometown of Iowa City are remembering him as a “kind, intelligent, talented and special human being.” (Facebook/John Geerdes)

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