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“You know kids are fragile. They’re invincible at this age, they think, and how they react to the situation is yet to be seen,” the coach said.

The highway on which the accident occurred was the same road where eight UW track and cross country athletes died in a collision with a pickup driven by a drunken driver, who was a member of the UW rodeo team, on Sept. 16, 2001.

“I know that road has claimed a number of lives and that it’s been a very tragic road, but in this situation I guess tragedy could have struck if they had taken (Interstate) 80 up also,” Christensen said.

Nina McConigley, who taught freshman English, said Narcisse was one of 16 students in her class. She said he sat in the front row, was “very talkative” and was proud of being from Miami.

“He did have a big personality and in a class that small, it’s just … he’ll be missed,” McConigley said.