An American visiting student at Exeter College has been killed following an avalanche in Switzerland.
Henry Lo, from Williams College in Massachusetts, was on a hiking trip with eight other students, including five Williams students and two Oxford students, when the fatality happened on Sunday.
The police have said Lo, from New York, was swept away by snow and fell down a 100 metre cliff. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another student, Amy Nolan, was injured and subsequently taken to a Swiss hospital. Nolan has since been joined by her family.
The other Williams-Exeter students have written a tribute to Henry, a major in Maths and Religion, saying: “You made the most of your time here at Oxford: football, kickboxing, working out, wine-tasting, truly loving your academic work, not to mention all your socialising.
“This list only scratches the surface. To borrow some of your own words, you were not a gamer, you were a competitor. You made such a huge impression on all of us in less than a year – we all wish we could spend more time with you, get to know you even better. We can’t believe you’ve been taken from us.”
None of the other students were injured and Swiss authorities organised a response team to take the students to Bern. The students have since returned to the UK.
International media has speculated that a skier above the group of hikers caused the avalanche. A police investigation is ongoing and the University has yet to confirm these reports.
The Rector of Exeter College, Frances Cairncross, said: “Henry was a popular student who played on the Exeter College football team. He had many friends both on the Williams Programme and among Exeter College students. We will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with his parents and with Amy and her family.”
President of Williams College, Adam Falk has written a letter to the College community saying: “At this profoundly sad moment our hearts are first with Henry’s family for their sudden and devastating loss. As a parent, I can’t imagine the effect of such an occurrence.”