A Harvard University student died, at least one other suffered serious injuries and several others were hurt when the van they were in was involved in a traffic accident in New Jersey early Monday morning while the group traveled back from a weekend mock trial competition in Virginia, campus officials said.
Angela Mathew, a 20-year-old junior living in Leverett House and studying neurobiology, died in the accident, according to an email an administrator sent to students Monday evening.
She and six other members of the Harvard Mock Trial Association were inside the van when the accident occurred, school officials said.
At least one other student was seriously injured, while several of the others suffered less serious injuries, the email said. Several other Harvard students traveling in a separate vehicle were not harmed.
“Please join me in offering thoughts and deepest sympathies for Angela's family and friends in what is an extremely difficult time,” said the email from Donald H. Pfister, interim dean of the university’s undergraduate college. “This is a tragedy and I join you all in the feeling of loss Angela's death brings.”
Mathew, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., was a member of the mock trial association's executive board, according to the group's website. She was one of three high school seminar directors.
“She was a very bright, talented young woman,” said Pfister's email. “Our hearts are broken. This is a very sudden and unexpected loss. The news comes as a shock not only to Angela's friends in Leverett House, but to all of us throughout the college. All of us - those who knew Angela and those of us who did not - are grieving today.”
“We must also keep in our thoughts the other students who were injured and we are hopeful for their recovery,” he added.
He said that the campus offers support services, including mental health professionals at Harvard University Health Services who can be reached at 617-495-5711.
“In addition to the professionals at HUHS, please reach out to your house masters, resident dean, tutor or proctor if you are struggling,” Pfister wrote. “And please be aware of those around you who might need help and understanding.”
“During times like these it is important we come together as a community to support one another,” he added.