Notre Dame junior dies in Thailand bus crash
By: Dennis Brown
Date: April 18, 2008
Andrew Bunikis, a University of Notre Dame junior from Phoenix, died in a bus crash in the Phitsanulok Province of Thailand on Friday (Thai time, April 18). He was 20.
“Andrew’s family and the Notre Dame family have suffered and shared a tragic loss,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “We assure the Bunikis family of our prayers during this difficult time, confident that Andrew will be embraced by the fullness of God’s love.”
According to an on-line story in the Bangkok newspaper The Nation, the bus crash occurred on the Phitsanulok-Uttaradit Road in the Prom Piram district at 11:45 p.m. Seven other people were killed in the crash, and 31 were injured, according to The Nation.
An accountancy major and resident of Zahm Hall on campus, Bunikis (BUN-i-kiss) was on a leave of absence from Notre Dame this semester, continuing his participation in a service program in a rural area of northern Thailand that he first undertook last summer through the University’s Student International Business Council. He taught English and organized other education programs while serving as a mentor and friend to children living in the area.
He is survived by his parents Caroline and Al Bunikis and his sister Michelle.
Plans for a funeral in Phoenix and a memorial Mass on campus are pending.
This morning this email was sent out to the University:
As you may know from the University's press release, we received word last Friday of the death of Andrew M. Bunikis, a junior Accounting major and resident of Zahm Hall, from Phoenix, Arizona. Andrew was killed in a bus crash near Bangkok, Thailand early Friday morning. He was on a leave of absence from the University this semester, continuing his participation in a service program in a rural area of Northern Thailand that he first undertook in the summer of 2007 through the University’s Student International Business Council (SIBC). Andrew’s service involved teaching English classes and organizing other education programs while serving as a mentor and friend to the children of the rural area. He is survived by his parents, Caroline and Al Bunikis, and his sister, Michelle.
The University community will gather for a Memorial Mass to honor Andrew's life on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 10:00 PM. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., University President, will preside. All are invited to join together to pray for Andrew's eternal rest, as well as the consolation of his family and friends.
Fr. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C.
Vice President for Student Affairs