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2 California Locals Among 3 Students Killed In New Zealand Crash

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HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBS/AP) — Three students from Boston University, including a 21-year-old from Huntington Beach, have died and five others were injured in a crash in New Zealand.

Police said the students were traveling near the North Island vacation town of Taupo when their minivan drifted to the side of the road and then rolled when the driver tried to correct course.

The accident happened about 7:30 a.m. New Zealand time on Saturday morning.

The students had been studying in New Zealand on an exchange program.

Boston University spokesman Colin Riley said the deceased students were Daniela Lekhno, 20, of Manalapan, N.J.; Roch Jauberty, 21, whose parents live in Paris; and Austin Brashears, 21, of Huntington Beach, Calif. New Zealand police confirmed their identities.

Jauberty’s Facebook profile said he originally hailed from Woodland Hills.

IMAGES: Scenes from Austin Brashears well-traveled but too short life

Another BU student, Margaret Theriault, was airlifted from the crash site to a hospital in Taupo and was in critical condition, the university said.

Investigators say some of the students were thrown from the minivan and may not have been wearing seat belts.

A candlelight vigil was planned for Saturday evening at the university.

“This is a horrible tragedy,” Boston University President Robert Brown said in a statement on the website. “Our prayers go out to the students and their families. We will do all we can to provide comfort and assistance to those who have been injured, and to the families and friends of the victims. The university is mobilizing all of our resources to help our students and families deal with this tragedy.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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