Exeter mourns loss of student

News

A visiting student at Exeter was killed in an avalanche in Switzerland on Sunday.

Henry Lo, who was nearing the end of a year abroad at Exeter, was hiking near the town of Frutigen in the Swiss Alps when the accident happened.

The avalanche swept Lo off a 330 foot cliff, taking his life.

Amy Nolan, another visiting student at Exeter, was also injured in the accident, suffering a severe blow to her head.

Although Nolan remained conscious, she had to be evacuated to Bern, the Swiss capital, where she received surgery on Monday.

A friend who has since visited her said she had been smiling and talking.

The other seven hikers emerged unscathed. They were evacuated by helicopter to a nearby hospital before flying home to the UK the next day.

Both Henry Lo and Amy Nolan are from Williams, a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts, which since 1985 has been sending 26 students to Exeter every year.

Both were 20 years old, and both were in their third year at Williams. The hiking group included two students from Oxford and seven students from Williams.

Fellow students from the Williams-Exeter exchange have since written a memorial to him:

“Henry, you transcended social boundaries – you went out of your way to show an interest in all of our lives. It was this selflessness and generosity that will stay with us… You made such a huge impression on all of us in less than a year – we all wish we could spend more time with you, get to know you even better. We can’t believe you’ve been taken from us.”

Lo, originally from Long Island, New York, had been studying for a degree in Maths and Religion. He was described by the Rector of Exeter, Frances Cairncross, as a “popular student who played on the Exeter College football team”.

“He had many friends both on the Williams Programme and among Exeter College students. We will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with his parents and with Amy and her family,” Cairncross said.

The President of Williams said he was shocked by the accident: “At this profoundly sad moment our hearts are first with Henry’s family for their sudden and devastating loss.”

Swiss police have since confirmed that the avalanche was caused by a skier further up the mountain.

The skier immediately alerted the Swiss authorities. Although the skier claimed not to have seen the group until after the avalanche struck, he could be prosecuted if there is evidence he was negligent.

The skier, who was not injured, has not been named.

The other seven hikers have since returned to Oxford. As yet, no plans have been made for funeral services.