BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston University junior told WBZ-TV he felt “helpless” when he saw the crash that killed three of his classmates in New Zealand.

The students were just outside the New Zealand town of Taupo last week when the van they were traveling in swerved off the road.

Daniella Lekhno, Roch Jauberty and Austin Brashears were killed in the crash. Five others, including Meg Theriault of Salisbury, were injured.

“I was driving down the road and saw something in my rear view mirror,” said BU student Dustin Holstein. “You could definitely tell it was going to be very bad.”

Holstein said he was driving in the lead van when he saw the minivan behind him crash. Holstein said those who were inside his van immediately sprung into action.

“We were in the middle of nowhere. I made phone calls on my phone to police and a couple of my other friends ran to the nearby houses to get help,” said Holstein.

Inside the turned-over van were some of his closest friends and BU classmates, clinging for life.

“Daniella, I would consider her one of my closest friends in the program. Austin was my roommate and Roch and I were very close friends, and we played basketball together twice a week. It’s difficult to accept the situation. I just hope that God will take care of them and their families.”

Holstein said the horrible experience has changed his life forever, but he’s proud of the courage and companionship his classmates are giving each other.

“The group that’s here is the strongest group I’ve ever been with, and to go through this is just absolutely horrible, but we have been sticking together,” said Holstein.

Holstein said he greatly appreciates all the support BU and the Boston community has given him and his classmates as they deal with this traumatic experience.


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