Students at Messiah College are grieving the loss of their friend 22-year-old Ethan Van Bochoven. The school held a prayer service for him Sunday.
“My first thought was probably, why would something like this happen to someone like him?” said Esteban Nieves, who went to Messiah with Van Bochoven.
“He was a big hug guy,” said Aaron Gray, a grad student at Messiah College. “He was always there if you needed a smile. He could always tell, kind of pick apart if someone was having a bad day.”
Van Bochoven was killed in a crash involving nearly a dozen vehicles on I-83 Friday.
Classmates and teachers say it’s surreal that he will no longer be on campus.
“He had this big booming voice,” said Dr. Tim Dixon, Van Bochoven’s advisor, and teacher. “Every day, I would see him. He would stop me and say, ‘hello sir,’ and give me a big handshake and look me in the eye.”
Van Bochoven was the manager of the men’s lacrosse team.
Everyone knew him for his talent on the violin. The music major was a part of the school’s Powerhouse band and symphony orchestra.
“He never needed music,” said Deanna Preziosi, a senior at Messiah College. “He was somebody that could just show up. He could come as late as he wanted and he could play the songs without anything in front of him and it was completely perfect because he was that talented.”
“I think he would want the love and the light of Christ to be shown through this somehow,” said Nieves. “I don’t know how that’s going to happen, yet. But just, thinking about the way he lived and the kindness he had in his heart, I think that’s how he would want us to handle the situation.”
A 24-year-old and a toddler were also killed in Friday’s crash.
State Police say 29-year-old Jack Satterfield, who was driving a tractor-trailer, is facing multiple charges, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.