One Brandeis University Student Dies In Waltham Bus Crash, Dozens Injured

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WALTHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A shuttle bus transporting 26 Brandeis University students back to campus Saturday night crashed in Waltham, leaving one student dead and dozens injured.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, the students were being brought back to Waltham when the bus crashed into a tree on South Street. Apart from the one fatality that was pronounced on scene, the remaining passengers and the driver suffered injuries to varying degrees and were all transported to local hospitals.

Brandeis University released a statement on the incident, identifying the person that died in the crash as undergraduate student Vanessa Mark.

"While Vanessa was currently on leave, she was living in Waltham and was an active and cherished member of the Brandeis community. We have been in touch with Vanessa's family and will continue to stay in contact with them in the coming days," President of Brandeis University Ron Liebowitz said.

WBZ's Shari Small spoke to a student at Brandeis University who could hear first responders arrive to the crash site where the bus went off the road.

"I live towards the edge of campus so I heard a ton of emergency vehicles going by— and sirens for minutes on end. Everyone I've checked in with is okay, but because it's such a small campus everyone kind of knows everyone through someone— so it's been rough," the student said.

Student journalists from the Brandeis University student newspaper The Justice tell WBZ NewsRadio that the bus involved was on a shuttle circuit that goes to and from Boston and Cambridge— something widely used by students on campus.

"Basically everyone has taken this shuttle at one point or another. It's free and easy— it's frightening because we can all imagine ourselves in that position. We're reeling right now as a community," Justice Managing Editor Jane Flautt said.

Justice Associate Editor Jack Cheng said he was on scene just following the crash.

"I was really concerned about how people would react when I talked to them because it's a sensitive time for everybody. I was trying to find a way to cover the story in a responsible manner," Cheng said.

In the wake of the crash, all classes were canceled for Monday and Tuesday, with all assignment deadlines and class activities postponed to after Thanksgiving break.

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The community is rallying behind crash victims, as evident on the Brandeis campus with the Shapiro Campus Center decorated with support for those involved in the crash.

"We have a banner set up that says the hashtag 'Brandeis Strong," and we're posting comments and well wishes for people who have been injured," said Justice Editor-in-Chief Jen Crystal said.

The D.A's office, the Waltham Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Detectives, and Massachusetts State Police Crash Reconstruction Section are investigating the cause of the crash.

Officials say that no arrests have been made at the time of posting. The WPD asks anyone who may have seen the crash to call police.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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