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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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PLU student dies in accident

Pacific Lutheran University students prayed Feb. 25 after a convocation to remember student Monica Lightell, 18, who died Feb. 24 when a second-story deck collapsed. Five other students were injured in the accident, which occurred at an off-campus house party attended by about 200-300 people.

"The fact that alcohol was being consumed had nothing to do with [the accident]," said Greg Brewis, spokesman for PLU — a dry campus in Tacoma, Wash. "It appears now that the deck wasn't built to code. The sheriff said it was the worst case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time he'd seen in 15 years. ... It's a huge shock for young people to face their mortality in such a terrible way."

PLU provided grief counselors and scheduled a March 2 memorial service.

Lightell, a Roman Catholic, attended the Lutheran worship services on campus. "She was just a lovely, energetic, well-loved person," said Nancy Connor, campus pastor.


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