From the ticker blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education:

A Binghamton University senior has died in an automobile accident while on a college-sponsored summer research trip in Costa Rica. Zoe Damon, a 20-year-old biology major, was killed when a van driven by Richard Andrus, an associate professor of environmental studies at the State University of New York campus, skidded off a road and into a river. Three other students were injured in the accident, according to the Pipe Dream, Binghamton’s student newspaper.

Pipe Dream adds a bit more detail:

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that the van rolled down an embankment more than 100 feet into the El Guabo River.

It took rescuers about two hours to get to the victims. Three other students were injured, but the injuries are not considered to be life threatening.

Most students have returned home, with the exception of two who will remain in order to get their passports replaced after the documents were lost in the accident. Andrus will remain with them to take care of any other details in Costa Rica.

I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I lost a student under any circumstances, much less, one that was under my watchful eye while away on a mission trip. It’s got to be a horrifying experience. One of my colleagues once told me that he led a retreat where someone died and I just shuddered at the thought. The worst that’s happened to me thus far was a young woman sliced her finger open with a bagel knife and I burned my hand on a hot plate.

There, but for the grace of God…

Today, let’s pray for the safety of all those who go on service trips. We pray for their safe return and for comfort for all of those in Binghampton who grieve the loss of their friend who died much too young. May God comfort Dr. Andrus in his grief at this time.

And of course, may God grant eternal rest to Zoe Damon, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, through God’s mercy, be granted eternal peace. Amen.