North Bay Students Mourn Death of Four Classmates

Four killed in Saturday night crash

Pacific Union College students and faculty today are mourning the  deaths of four students in a crash late Saturday night in northern Napa  County.

The loss of the four men is particularly painful for the school  because its community is so close-knit; more than 1,100 of the 1,400 students  at the Seventh-day Adventist liberal arts college live on campus, chaplain  Roy Ice said this morning.

"It's widely felt. They had a large network of friends. It will be  somber all week," Ice said. "This shows the preciousness of life."

"There is this sense that we do everything together that's greater  than on a larger campus. The students knew them," Ice said.

The college, located 70 miles north of San Francisco, was founded  in 1882 and has a 13:1 student-teacher ratio.

The students died in the crash are Luke Kotaro Nishikawa, 22, of  Honolulu, Hawaii; Boaz Joshua Pak, 20, of Hidden Valley; Chong Whon Shin, 20,  of Aloha, Ore.; and Simon Chulmin Son, 19, of Hidden Valley.

The four were killed when their 2003 Honda Civic slid sideways and  collided broadside with a 1993 Toyota T-100 pickup on Deer Park Road around  11:45 p.m. All four were pronounced dead at the scene.

The California Highway Patrol said Pak, the driver, was speeding  west on Deer Park Road east of Silverado Trail and allowed the Honda to cross  double yellow lines.

The driver of the Toyota was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital  with major injuries and is in stable condition. The driver of a 1993 Honda  Civic that also struck the Toyota pickup was not injured but was arrested on  suspicion of driving under the influence.

The four PUC students had been playing basketball at the school  gym and were driving to get food at the Safeway store about 8 miles away in  St. Helena when the accident occurred.

The college will hold a memorial service Thursday at 10 a.m.  during the weekly colloquy in the college church.

"It will be a celebration of life," Ice said.

Shin and Nishikawa were very involved in campus ministries, Ice  said. Nishikawa participated in the campus outreach program Homeless  Ministries in which participants visited with the homeless in People's Park  in Berkeley about twice a month, Ice said.

"They would talk with them and sometimes bring guitars," Ice said.  "They also would bring food, including spaghetti," Ice said. 

Shin was active in the Rohnert Park Korean Seventh-day Adventist  Church, Ice said.

All four men lived in the Newton Hall dormitory, which has been  hit especially hard by the loss of the students and where counseling services  are now available 24 hours, Ice said.

Edna Hernandez, the Student Association's social vice president,  said all four men were members of the Korean Adventist Student Association.  Pak, Son and Shin were Korean and Nishikawa was Japanese, she said.

Shin and Pak were juniors, Son was a sophomore and Nishikawa was a  "super senior" in his fifth year at the school, Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she was closest to Shin because he tutored her in  accounting.

"He taught me everything I needed to know. He was a sweet person  and very helpful," she said.

Teachers have allowed students today to speak about the four  students in class, Hernandez said. "Everyone is taking it very slow and very  easy," said.

In a statement on the college's Web site, PUC President Richard  Osborne said, "Our entire campus is grieving along with their families. But  as a faith-based college, we have hope that springs from our beliefs as we  celebrate all these young men accomplished in their brief lives."

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