UPDATE: Friends Plan Memorial Service for Aditi Avhad
LITCHFIELD, Ill. - Friends of the MU student who was killed in a Megabus accident Thursday are holding a memorial service to celebrate the 25-year-old's life.
The bus was traveling the Chicago-St. Louis-Columbia-Kansas City route and left Thursday morning at 8:45 a.m. Around 1:20 p.m., the bus struck a pillar on southbound Interstate 55, just north of Litchfield, Ill.
More than 70 passengers were on board, including Avhad's parents. Several other passengers are injured, some seriously. Avhad is the only fatality of the accident. The driver was taken to the hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening.
Avhad had a scholarship through the Health Administration Department in the School of Medicine and maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She was on track to complete her master's degree in 2013.
University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton said, "(Aditi) was a stellar student who made great contributions to the knowledge-building mission of the university. All of our hearts are a little heavier today as we grieve this loss. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her parents."
"Aditi Avhad was an extremely bright, energetic and beloved student in our health management program," said Eduardo Simoes, Chair and Health Management and Informatics Alumni Distinguished Professor. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and send our sincerest condolences to her family."
Avhad was involved in MU's Cultural Association of India. Members of this group are planning a memorial service for her Friday, August 3, at 7 p.m. at Memorial Union.
"We have lost a wonderful, dear friend," said Nikhil Tindal, president of the Cultural Association of India. "Aditi was a girl who was always smiling and brought so much joy to us all."
Megabus.com is working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the cause of the accident. Megabus says the vehicle involved in the accident had passed a full preventative maintenance check within the past week. These checks are performed every 10 days.