Two Ethiopians and Nigerian Manchester University students hit by car & killed on I-69

Nerad Grace Mangai, Brook M. Dagnew and Kirubel Alemayehu Hailu, RIP


A northern Indiana university says three of its students have died in a crash on Interstate 69.

Manchester University has posted on Twitter and Facebook that the crash occurred Sunday morning in Grant County, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

It says that in addition to the three students who died, four other students were involved and one of them was being treated at a Fort Wayne hospital.

Manchester University says the three students killed along Interstate 69 were from Africa.

A statement from University President Dave McFadden identifies the victims as Nerad Grace Mangai of Jos, Nigeria, and Brook Dagnew and Kirubel Alemayehu Hailu, both of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He says a fourth student, Israel Solomon Tamire of Addis Ababa, is being treated for injuries at a Fort Wayne hospital.

McFadden says the students had been to Ball State University in Muncie and Taylor University in Upland earlier and were returning to Manchester’s North Manchester campus when their vehicle had a flat tire.

They were outside the vehicle changing the tire when they were struck by another vehicle Sunday morning.

Manchester University Statement:

It is with great sadness that I share news of a tragic accident early this morning that claimed the lives of three Manchester University students, Nerad Grace Mangai, Brook M. Dagnew and Kirubel Alemayehu Hailu.

A fourth MU student, Israel Solomon Tamire, is being treated for injuries at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. Three other students, Nebiyu Shiferaw Alemu, Amanuel Atsbha Gebreyohannes and Dagmawi Meseret Tadesse, were not injured and have returned to North Manchester.

A gathering for the MU community is planned for 8 p.m. this evening (Sunday) in Petersime Chapel. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend, reflect and provide comfort to each other as we process our grief. Campus Pastor Walt Wiltschek will lead us.

The students had been to Ball State University and Taylor University earlier and were northbound on I-69 heading back to North Manchester. Based on what we were told, they had a flat tire and were outside of the vehicle changing it when several of them were struck by another vehicle.

All of the students are from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, except for Nerad, a sophomore biology-chemistry major from Jos, Nigeria. Brook was a sophomore majoring in biology-chemistry and Kirubel was a first-year medical technology major.

Please hold all of the people who love these students in your thoughts and prayers. Counseling services are available today at the Intercultural Center and we will ensure that counseling support is available for students, faculty and staff in the difficult days ahead.

We anticipate that there will be a memorial service on the North Manchester campus in the coming days and will share details with you when plans are confirmed.

We can’t begin to understand the tragic loss of Nerad, Brook and Kirubel, young lives so full of promise. The MU community grieves their passing and will miss them deeply.

Dave McFadden