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Update: Avi Schaefer '13 struck, killed by car

Driver charged with drunk driving

Correction appended.

Avi Schaefer '13 was struck and killed by a vehicle at approximately 1:40 a.m. Friday morning at the intersection of Thayer and Hope streets, according to Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn. The driver of the vehicle was charged with drunken driving Friday afternoon, she said.

One of two other students walking with Schaefer suffered injuries during the collision, Quinn said. The third student was not harmed. The Providence Journal identified the injured student as Marika Baltscheffsky '13.

Schaefer and Baltscheffsky were taken to Rhode Island Hospital after the accident by Providence rescue, according to Quinn. Schaefer was pronounced dead around 2 a.m from injuries he suffered during the accident. Baltscheffsky has since been released, Quinn said.

"The Providence Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding this tragedy," she said.

PPD officers declined to comment on the specifics of the accident because a fatality was involved.

The University has been in touch with Schaefer's family, Quinn said, adding that the Office of Champlains and Religious Life is holding ongoing support services at Brown/RISD Hillel Friday and Saturday. A memorial is being set for later this spring.

"At this point, we're really just trying to offer support for students who knew and loved Avi," Quinn said. "In his very short time, he knew and talked to so many people."

Quinn said there had been incidents involving pedestrians on campus before, but none had been this severe.

According to a campus-wide e-mail sent by President Ruth Simmons Friday afternoon, Schaefer had already begun to make his mark at Brown, excelling in courses on religious thought, politics and Arabic.

"A young man of inordinate strength and integrity, Avi had already begun to have an impact on the Brown community," Simmons wrote. "By all early signs, he was a student who was going to make the most of his time at Brown and his mark on the world after Brown."

Schaefer came to Brown after serving for three years in the Israeli Defense Forces, she wrote, adding that he was an influential member of the Hillel community and was working with a professor to develop a class on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"All the officers of the Providence Police Department who worked with him will miss him," said PPD Chief Dean Esserman, who met Schaefer when he approached the chief about helping the department's SWAT team after returning from Israel.

"I will miss my friend, who, over this past year, I've gotten to know," Esserman said. "It's a great loss for the Brown community and the community of Providence."

An earlier version of this article misattributed the source of the name of injured student Marika Baltscheffsky '13. That information came from the Providence Journal. The Herald regrets the error.


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