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LI man injured in fatal New Zealand crash

Three Boston University students who were studying in

Three Boston University students who were studying in New Zealand were killed in a minivan crash. At least five other students from the university were injured in the accident, including one who was in critical condition. (May 12, 2012) Credit: AP

A Massapequa man was among the injured when a minivan carrying Boston University students in a study-abroad program in New Zealand crashed Saturday, killing three.

Stephen Houseman, a junior at the university's School of Hospitality Administration, was treated Saturday and released from Taupo Hospital, near Auckland, according to BU Today, the university's news website.

A university spokesman identified those killed in the accident as Daniela Lekhno, 20, of Manalapan, N.J.; Austin Brashears, 21, of Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Roch Jauberty, 21, whose parents live in Paris.

They were among 26 Boston University students traveling in three vans Saturday morning to Tongariro Crossing, a hiking spot in the north of the country, according to BU Today.

The crash occurred around 7:30 a.m. local time when one of the vans, with eight occupants, drifted to the side of the road and then rolled when the driver tried to correct course, New Zealand police said. The New Zealand Herald reported that two passengers were flung to their deaths as the van flipped three times, strewing cameras, backpacks and smartphones along the isolated country road.

Three students died at the scene, police said. One woman was in critical condition at a hospital, while at least four other students suffered moderate injuries.

Boston University student Margaret Theriault was airlifted from the crash site to a hospital in Taupo and was in critical condition, the university said.

Houseman was five months into a front office internship at The Langham Hotel Auckland, according to his LinkedIn page. He describes himself there as an "ambitious, driven, outgoing and goal oriented individual who loves to travel, experience new cultures and obtain more knowledge about the hospitality industry."

Calls to Houseman's Long Island family were not immediately returned. A woman who answered the phone at the Langham Auckland declined to comment, citing an open police investigation.

"This is a horrible tragedy," Boston University president Robert Brown said in a statement on the school website. "Our prayers go out to the students and their families."

Student body president Howard Male said the Boston University students had posted Facebook updates in anticipation of the trip, saying they hoped to view scenery captured on film in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

"They were all so excited to be able to go explore what many guidebooks . . . have called some of the most beautiful places on the planet," Male said.

With AP


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