Student From St. Paul Dies After Accident In Bolivia

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 20-year-old student who graduated from St. Paul’s Highland Park Senior High School died after suffering serious injuries in an accident while traveling in Bolivia.

Tamar Kaplan died Sunday just before midnight, according to a Caring Bridge site dedicated to her.

Kaplan, who was a student at Claremont McKenna College in California, according to her Facebook page, was in South America for the fall semester. At the end of her studies, she embarked with friends on a trip which was to go through Peru and into Bolivia.

On Jan. 2, however, Kaplan and her friend were on a tour in a Land Rover when she was seriously injured in an accident. Doctors initially reported Kaplan had “a broken femur and clavicle, as well as partial collapse of her right lung,” her Caring Bridge site said.

Three days after the accident, an ambulance tried to take Kaplan to La Paz, Bolivia’s largest city. During the 7-hour drive, her condition worsened. The ambulance stopped at a hospital three hours from La Paz, where Kaplan was put on a ventilator. Doctors then reevaluated her injuries and found they were more serious than initially reported. She had “extensive thoracic trauma, with damage to both lungs, broken ribs and additional broken bones,” the Caring Bridge site said.

Arrangements were being made to fly Kaplan to Santiago, Chile, so she could receive treatment. Kaplan died in her sleep the following day.

Kaplan was an accomplished student, who graduated in the top 10 in her class at Highland Park and was awarded a National Merit Scholarship in 2010, the Pioneer Press reports.

A high school classmate told the newspaper that the news of Kaplan’s death was devastating.

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