Those killed in the Aurora Bridge collision include a 49-year-old woman from Austria, an 18-year-old man from Indonesia, a 36-year-old woman from Japan and a 17-year-old girl from China.
It wasn’t until early Thursday evening that Eva Priaardanto found out her son had been killed. He was 18.
Seven hours of waiting, hoping, agonizing, then realizing the worst.
She had gone to Harborview Medical Center, and kept looking for some kind of list that would have Privando Eduardus Putradanto’s name on it.
“His name wasn’t on any list,” remembered Jonathan Kresnadi, who spent most of that day with the mother.
The list was only of the injured, not those who were killed in the crash, their bodies taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
The youth went by the name Ivan, using the middle letters of his first name, and had a different last name from his parents.
Related video: Murray speaks after crashMayor Ed Murray spoke Friday morning at North Seattle College after students from four countries were killed in Thursday’s collision on the Aurora Bridge. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Ivan had just arrived in Seattle from Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sept. 12. The future was full of possibilities. He was going to become a civil engineer, he told friends.
Instead, he was one of four people killed on a bus full of North Seattle College students on their way to downtown Seattle for an orientation and sightseeing trip on Thursday. The bus was hit by a northbound Ride the Ducks vehicle that suddenly veered into oncoming traffic.
The others who perished were identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office Friday as Mami Sato, a 36-year-old woman from Japan; Runjie Song, a 17-year-old girl from China; and Claudia Derschmidt, a 49-year-old woman from Austria.
More than 50 others were either taken to hospitals or evaluated for injuries, according to the Seattle Fire Department. On Friday, hospitals reported the conditions of those remaining: one in critical, 13 in serious, four in satisfactory and eight in good to fair. By Saturday, three patients at Harborview and two patients at University of Washington Medical Center had been moved from intensive care and upgraded to satisfactory condition.
“We just pray”
Ivan came from a close-knit family, with a younger sister.
His mother came with him to Seattle and planned to stay a month at the home that he and five other Indonesian students had rented near North Seattle College. Presumably, it was to help Ivan with the transition, or perhaps because moms just care too much.
“She would cook for us,” said Florencia Irena, 18, one of Ivan’s roommates who also was on the bus.
Florencia says she was sitting next to Sato, who was killed in the crash.
She escaped with a cracked bone near a shoulder, and has been released from the hospital with her left arm in a sling. Florencia remembered seeing Sato bleeding, with her eyes open, still alive, for a brief time.
Kresnadi runs an Indonesian grocery store and takeout place on Highway 99 in Edmonds, at 223rd Street Southwest. It has become a hangout for kids from the old country here for college.
It’s been Kresnadi whom the Indonesian consulate in San Francisco turned to for help.
He met up with Eva Priaardanto and other parents at the college Thursday and tried to find out what had happened.
Eventually they made their way to Harborview and waited.
Then a phone call came. It was Seattle police, asking if they could go to the downtown headquarters, that the chief wanted to talk to them.
Kresnadi and the mom knew what would come next.
“She was in shock. She was crying. The police talked to her and she still couldn’t believe it. The mayor came and said he was sorry about what had happened,” said Kresnadi.
The small Indonesia community here rallied around Eva Priaardanto. Pastors came to comfort her. Friday, she was at a downtown hotel.
Ivan’s dad, Columbanus Priaardanto, was in Italy on a business trip. He arrived in Seattle late Friday afternoon.
“We just pray,” said Kresnadi. “Pray for the family. Pray for the son so he can have a better place in heaven.”
Friends, strangers rally
Claudia Derschmidt was an elementary school teacher and mother of two from Austria who had decided to join her 15-year-old son for what is a common rite of passage among many European teens: a semester of study abroad.
Her son was attending Roosevelt High School, and Derschmidt — who had a love of adventure and wanted to improve her English — enrolled at North Seattle College, said Eva Kammel, Austria’s honorary consulate for Washington, Idaho and Montana.
The timing worked out for their family to do it this year, said Kammel. Together, they arrived in the states about two weeks ago.
But Derschmidt’s son will travel home with his mother’s body on Monday, the adventure abandoned.
They had come with a friend of Derschmidt’s son, who planned to stay for a two-week visit, Kammel said.
Kammel said Derschmidt and the two boys had made friends with a Seattle woman with ties to Germany while they were at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, when they first arrived in the states.
Kammel said that friend is caring for the two boys until they fly home Monday. She said members of the local Austrian community, and Seattleites, have offered overwhelming support.
Most Read Stories
- Snohomish County man has the United States’ first known case of Wuhan coronavirus
- 5 of the Seattle area's most changed neighborhoods: We crunched the data on population, income, jobs
- 'We were before our time': Remembering the fight to change King County's namesake from a slave owner to a civil-rights leader VIEW
- Did the Seahawks make a mistake by letting Richard Sherman go?
- How white families with young children can work to undo racism
“They are getting the best loving care they can, but it is absolutely devastating, absolutely terrible,” Kammel said.
On Friday, at Kresnadi’s store, Ivan’s roommates gathered. The group was going to take Indonesian food — rice, beef in spices, curry chicken — to the mom and those comforting her.
Florencia Irena said at the rental home, sitting in the living room, was Ivan’s computer on which he played games. He also liked to play acoustic guitar for his new friends he had only known a week.
“We’re all sad,” said Irena.
As most youths, Ivan was immersed in the digital world.
On Twitter, his last post was this retweet:
“If someone came up to you and handed you a book and you started reading it and realized it was a book about your entire life would you read it until the end?”