Andrew Bunikis, a University of Notre Dame junior from Phoenix, died in a bus crash in the Phitsanulok Province of Thailand on Friday (Thai time, April 18). He was 20.
Andrews family and the Notre Dame family have suffered and shared a tragic loss,said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Universitys president.We assure the Bunikis family of our prayers during this difficult time, confident that Andrew will be embraced by the fullness of Gods love.
According to an on-line story in the Bangkok newspaper The Nation, the bus crash occurred on the Phitsanulok-Uttaradit Road in the Prom Piram district at 11:45 p.m. Seven other people were killed in the crash, and 31 were injured, according to The Nation.
An accountancy major and resident of Zahm Hall on campus, Bunikis (BUN-i-kiss) was on a leave of absence from Notre Dame this semester, continuing his participation in a service program in a rural area of northern Thailand that he first undertook last summer through the Universitys Student International Business Council. He taught English and organized other education programs while serving as a mentor and friend to children living in the area.
He is survived by his parents Caroline and Al Bunikis and his sister Michelle.
Plans for a funeral in Phoenix are pending.A campus memorial Mass will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Hearton Tuesday, April 22, at 10 p.m.