Zingg comments on students’ deaths


President Paul Zingg

In a video announcement to the campus Wednesday evening, President Paul Zingg talked about the three Chico State students who were in involved in a fatal car crash Sunday.

“They have high hopes, dreams and they and their parents expected tat they would succeed in our company,” Zingg said.

Austin Silver, 20, who was a passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday morning from severe head trauma, according to California Highway Patrol.

Bryant Mata-Adams, 19, who was also a passenger, died Monday night at Enloe Medical Center, according to the Butte County coroner’s office.

“Two of those young men will not be going home from Chico State with a degree, but their parents leave us knowing that their children made friends here, the high aspirations they brought here were on track,” Zingg said in the video.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, 18-year-old Diego Arriaga-Rodriguez, the driver of the vehicle, is in serious condition, said Enloe Medical Center spokesperson Christina Chavira.

“Critical” condition is considered worse than “serious,” according to HIPAA guidelines.

“He has extraordinary care and he has a wealth of prayers on his side, but we don’t know how Diego will fare as he struggles at this time,” Zingg said.

Zingg also addressed the parents of several student deaths from this year, including Pa Houa Lour, 18, who died after being crushed by a tree limb on August 27, and Kristina Chesterman, who was killed in a hit-and-run by an alleged drunk driver on Sept. 21.

“Every time I meet with these parents, I am incredibly impressed by how strong they are and how they tell me in no uncertain terms, in every one of these cases, how important Chico State was to their son and was to their daughter,” Zingg said.

The parents of Mata-Adams and Chesterman have agreed to provide organ donations from their children, Zingg said.

“They will live on,” Zingg said in the statement. “They will live on because they will enable other people to see and to breathe and to have a life because of this physical gift of themselves.”

Memorial information for Mata-Adams and Silver is currently unavailable. Memorial services will be held on campus, Zingg said.

Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @mzarate139 on Twitter.