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Oak Leaves

'Hold a True Friend with Both Hands'

Manchester University Holds Memorial Service for Brook Dagnew, Nerad Mangai and Kirubel Hailu

Memorial FlowersOak Leaves Staff

Near Cordier Auditorium’s stage graced by the flags of Ethiopia and Nigeria, floral tributes, and photographs from happier times, students, faculty, staff, alumni, community, friends and family members gathered on Wednesday night to honor the lives of three Manchester University students who died early Sunday morning following a car crash on I-69. 

Nerad Mangai, Brook Dagnew and Kirubel Hailu were returning from a visit to Ball State University and Taylor University, along with four other students, when they had a flat tire and were struck by another vehicle while they were outside changing the tire. A fourth student, Israel Tamire, is being treated at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. Three other students, Nebiyu Alemu, Amanuel Gebreyohannes and Dagmawi Tadesse, were not physically injured and returned to North Manchester. All of the students were from Addis Abba, Ethiopia, except Mangai, who was from Jos, Nigeria.

As Campus Pastor Walt Wiltschek welcomed the gatherers, he noted that “grief unites us across the sea.” But he offered solace too, telling the grieving attendees that “our fabric is torn, but the threads of community draw around the holes.” Read more

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