By Shaodan Chen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Three Chinese students were involved in a serious car crash in Port Angeles, resulting in two deaths and one injury.
According to the Chinese Consulate General in Seattle, the traffic accident occurred at 10:04 p.m. on Dec. 12. Chi-Kan Cheung, 21, from Hong Kong, was driving a 1998 Ford Escort. Duo Li, 20, from Nanning, was riding in the back seat. Ho P. Ng, 20, was also a passenger in the car.
The car was traveling on U.S. Highway 101, heading west toward Port Angeles when it crossed the center line on the Morse Creek curve. The car spun, colliding with an eastbound 2000 Ford Focus driven by Douglas Krocker, 44, from Sequim. Krocker and his wife, Cherie, 43, suffered injuries and were taken to Olympic Medical Center. Li and Cheung were pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck. Ng suffered rib and chest injuries. The Krockers were treated and discharged from the hospital the night of the crash.
Li and Cheung were both second-year students pursuing associate degrees at Peninsula College. The state patrol said that Cheung was apparently going too fast for that curve in icy conditions. All involved except Li were wearing seat belts.
Peninsula College is accepting donations. It has set up a memorial fund to help pay for travel expenses for the students’ families. The Chinese Consul General of Health asked that the Washington state police thoroughly assess the situation and that the United States treat the injured, properly handle the victims, and provide the families with necessary assistance.
“This is such a tragic event because they were young kids who were halfway around the world from their homes and so full of energy and hope,” said Peninsula College President Tom Keegan in a statement.
“Our international students are an integral part of our college community,” Mary Hunchberger, executive director of the Peninsula College Foundation, said in a statement. “It is important that we all take care of each other, keep the families in our thoughts, and remember the lives of these two beautiful young people.”
The issue has put some attention on the safety of international students, many of whom come from urban cities in Asia and do not have extensive driving experience because of the availability of public transportation in their home cities.
According to USA.gov, an international student may not need to pass a test to obtain a state’s driver’s license when residing in the United States as long as the student already has a license from his or her home country. ♦
Shaodan Chen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.