ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — The University of Minnesota student who survived after he and two others fell into the icy Chicago River says he lost two good friends in the ordeal.
Twenty-six-year-old Ken Hoang, of St. Paul, was pronounced dead after he was pulled from the river Monday. Chicago police divers were searching the river for Hoang’s other friend, 21-year-old Lauren Li. Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, CBS Chicago confirmed Li’s body was recovered from the water.
Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang was rescued from the river Monday and treated at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago. Hospital officials say he was released Wednesday.
He issued a statement through the hospital that says one of his friends died in his arms and he saw the other drift away. Hoang says he’s never felt so helpless.
Hoang is a 23-year-old senior from Vadnais Heights.
The Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Danita Brown Young, released a statement Wednesday on behalf of the University of Minnesota:
“The University of Minnesota extends our sympathy to the families of Ken Hoang and Lauren Li, both of whom died in a tragic accident in the Chicago River. We are relieved both families now have closure.
Lauren was a senior in our College of Biological Sciences and a member of the University’s Honor Program who was also active in many communities, including the Asian American Student Union and the Chinese American Student Association. Ken attended the U until 2010 and was enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts.
We will continue to provide counseling, mental health and other support to Ken and Lauren’s friends and fellow students at the U during this difficult time. Anyone in need of someone to talk to is encouraged to visit mentalhealth.umn.edu for more information or go to University Counseling and Consulting Services in 340 Appleby Hall between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to talk to a counselor.”
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