Vigils honor young UND pilot killed in plane crash near Buxton

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 12:30 AM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The University of North Dakota community came together Tuesday to remember a student pilot killed in a plane crash near Buxton on Monday.

University leaders have identified the commercial aviation student as 19-year-old John Hauser from Chicago.

Two separate vigils were held on campus on Tuesday in honor of Hauser.

The first took place at the Memorial Union where dozens of students and faculty members gathered to pay their respects.

University officials say the vigil was an opportunity to provide conversations of healing for students as they deal with the loss of a fellow student.

Those who knew Hauser say they remember him as being a well-put-together person.

”He was a great kid. He was a great part of the student body. He has had a really big impact on the University. If you look at the number of people here, you can just tell the impact he has,” said Ellie Tillman, a former classmate.

Other students, we spoke with say the death of Hauser highlights the lack of awareness of mental health of those within the aerospace profession.

One student says the loss of one of their own is going to add to the pressures of maintaining good mental health.

“First and foremost, have faith in the community here. This is an organization with so many amazing people in it. People who really care. I think leaning on that closeness is really what’s going to get us through this,” said Paul Kvamme, a UND aerospace student.

Members of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity also welcomed the UND community to join a remembrance for Hauser.

The sidewalk was lined with candles as another form of commemoration.

Hauser was a member of the fraternity at the time of his passing.

Valley News Live reached out to the fraternity’s leadership for comment, but they declined out of respect for Hauser’s family.

Several agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, but a cause has yet to be determined.

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