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U.S. student killed after van falls into ravine in Pérez Zeledón

July 18, 2011

A 20-year-old U.S. college student died in a car accident in Costa Rica on Thursday.

Zoe Damon, of Binghamton University in upstate New York, was killed during a school trip when the van she was in skidded off the road and fell 40 feet into a river, according to the daily La Nacíon.

The accident occurred in San Juan de Dios de Barú, in the canton of Pérez Zeledón on the south Pacific coast. The driver was allowing another vehicle to pass it on the road when the van cascaded into the ravine.

Damon, a junior biology major, was participating in a summer abroad environmental studies program, according to the Binghamton Press & Bulletin. The paper added there were 16 students on the trip.

La Nacíon reported that four other students, the driver and a Binghamton professor also suffered non-life threatening injuries.
University officials are working with Costa Rican authorities to transport the students involved in the crash back to the United States.

A similar accident took place in Pérez Zeledón, in the community of Pejibaye. Dozens of school children were wounded when a bus carrying at least 50 students fell 40 meters into a ravine, after the bus hydroplaned off the road (Sept. 23, 2010, TT).

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