Volume 95, Issue 79
Thursday, February 21, 2002
Student dies Wednesday in car accident
By Joel Brown
A Western student was struck and killed by a car while riding his bicycle near Essex Hall on Wednesday night.
Dong Han, a 31-year-old computer science masters student, collided with the vehicle at the crossing of Sarnia and Western Roads just after 8 p.m. Wednesday evening. He was transported to University Hospital where he died of serious injuries early Thursday morning.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.
Han was riding northbound on Western Road, towards Western, while the car was travelling east on Sarnia Road in the direction of TD Waterhouse stadium.
Han, who is survived by his wife of six years Lijian Xu, was a landed immigrant from China who had lived in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for two years before coming to Western last fall to work on his graduate degree.
Fei Peng, a friend who mourned alongside Han's wife and brother-in-law at the couple's Platts Lane residence, said the loss had caused them "great shock and sadness.
"He's a really great, kind, helpful generous person. A really nice person," Peng said.
Western's computer science department set up a website to honour Han's memory (www.csd.uwo.ca/dong_han.html).
"Everyone who knows Dong will remember that he was very helpful and humorous person," said Han's mentor, professor Charles Ling, on the webpage. "He also worked very hard and had made great progress in his Msc thesis.
"He also had a job waiting for him in Kitchener."
Several students gave their final farewells.
"It is quite unbelievable that only yesterday his light-heartedness was so apparent," wrote fellow teaching assistant Merv Black.
"It's very obvious when you look at the outpouring of feeling in the spontaneous comments and memories of the department that is clear Dong Han will be very much missed," said Stephen Watt chair of computer sciences.
According to Gazette Sports Editor Ryan Dixon, who was eating in a Subway restaurant near the intersection at the time of the accident, two males ran inside the restaurant asking for towels and bandages to assist the victim.
Shortly thereafter police and ambulances arrived and the roads were then closed for several hours while the London Police conducted their preliminary investigation.
Const. Ryan Holland of the London Police Department said police are still trying to determine the cause of the accident and it is not clear whether charges will be laid.
Copyright © The Gazette 2002