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Williams Student Dies in Avalanche

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Williams College junior was killed when he and other students in the college's Williams-Exeter Programme were caught in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps on Sunday.

According to a letter to the Williams community by President Adam Falk, 20-year-old Henry Lo of Franklin Square, N.Y., fell to his death and his classmate Amy Nolan of Williamstown, also a junior, suffered a blow to her head while hiking near Kandersteg, south of the capital Bern.

Falk wrote:

While walking yesterday, they were hit by an avalanche of snow, ice, and rocks. Henry Lo ’11 was swept to his death, and Amy Nolan ’11 suffered a blow to her head. Swiss rescuers responded quickly, retrieving Henry's body and taking Amy by helicopter to a hospital in Bern. We're told that she never lost consciousness. She was operated on yesterday, and the student who was allowed to visit her today reports that she was talking and smiling. Her parents, Cathy and Jim Nolan, professor of sociology, are now there with her.

There were five other Williams students and two Oxford University students in the party. No one else was injured and the rest of the students were taken back to Oxford, where the program is based. Lo was a math and religion major whom his classmates described as gregarious, hard working, competitive and fun loving.

"At this profoundly sad moment our hearts are first with Henry's family for their sudden and devastating loss," wrote Falk. "No plans have yet been set for any services."

The Swiss Avalanche Institute says an average two dozen people die each year in avalanches there.

For Falk's full letter, click here.

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