Several high school students and faculty were injured in a deadly crash while traveling in Argentina over the weekend.
The crash happened Sunday in Buenos Aires and involved a student travel group from Providence Day School in Charlotte.
According to school officials, ten students from the Upper School and two faculty chaperones were involved in a serious traffic accident while in Buenos Aires.
"Sadly, there was a fatality at the scene; however, it was not a Providence Day community member," school officials told WBTV. "We are using every available resource, including working diligently with multiple officials and organizations both here and in country, to gather more information so that we can provide care and support to our students, faculty, and their families."
Several of our students and two faculty chaperones were injured.
"We are all deeply shaken by the accident and are terribly saddened by the loss a non-PDS family experienced as a result of the incident," Providence Day leaders said in a statement. School officials say they have been in contact with the affected families to provide support.
"We were very deeply saddened to hear about the accident." Rev. Dr. Jane Fobel said.
Fobel is a member of Sardis Presbyterian Church. The church is located right across the street from Providence Day School. Fobel says the school is a good neighbor and will be supporting the victims the best way they know how - through prayer. The church will conduct a prayer chain.
"It's sort of a telephone tree that we notify certain people," Fobel said. "And they spread it out to a network of prayer partners who are lifting this up in prayer and we will certainly remember them in our worship service on Sunday."
The head of school at Providence Day released a statement Tuesday:
With the terrible accident that took place on Sunday involving our student travel group in Argentina, I am reminded of how very important family is - in good times and in bad. It’s wonderful to see members of our community coming together like family to love and support one another - and extending that same compassion to those thousands of miles away. Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies are with the Argentine family who suffered a tragic loss. We understand and share their grief.
Since Sunday, our Emergency Operations Team has been working non-stop. Counseling is available to students who may need it, and assistance programs are accessible by employees. Dr. Loren Fauchier, Director of Global Education and Michael Magno, Head of Middle School (who is fluent in Spanish), are now in Buenos Aires and are coordinating next steps with family members and medical experts. As you read this, I am on my way to Argentina to join them, with our primary concern the emotional and physical well-being of our Chargers and their return home.
I will be sure to share with our students and faculty the immense and intense love you are sending their way. And in support of their healing, please continue to honor the parents’ wishes by respecting their privacy, and refraining from sending messages to the students directly. This will allow them the quiet space they need to rest and recover.
We would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to express our unending gratitude to a multitude of individuals and organizations: the first responders on the scene in Buenos Aires; our travel partners who quickly mobilized their teams to gather information; U.S. government officials who provided critical touchpoints in the first several hours and continue to be instrumental; the Argentinian host families who welcomed our group into their homes and who are still providing emotional support; businesses and local executives who graciously offered all levels of assistance; and of course, the scores of medical professionals both here and in country who are caring for our injured and recovering students and faculty. We are truly blessed to have these and other resources available to help us.
Concern for others and incredible displays of empathy and compassion are some of the most valued aspects of our Providence Day community. Our impacted families are focused on their loved ones and have yet to indicate how we can best support them going forward. When they do, I know you will respond with the usual Charger spirit. In the meantime, we are working across multiple groups to plan for and provide an opportunity for you to express support to our community members.
We will continue to provide updates as we are able. Thank you for your ongoing care and concern.
At least two school representatives are traveling to Argentina to assist in the situation.
"Once we have a better understanding of the families' needs and how our community can express its support, we will share that information. In the meantime, please continue to hold our Chargers close in your hearts," Providence Day leaders say.
Strangers are now thinking of the Providence Day family. They say it's a parent's worst nightmare to hear your child is involved in an accident miles away.
"I just want to reach out and hug them all," Parent Chris Villasenor said. "And hope everybody is okay and gets home safe after this - that's a scary thought."
A Facebook post states the students were on a Spanish Immersion trip from June 2nd-18th. The students stayed with local host families. They learned Spanish language in the day and explored and got a taste of what all the cities had to offer in the afternoon.
School officials say at this time they will not release the medical conditions of students and staff for privacy reasons and some of the injured are minors.
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