(John Geerdes and Emma Machado/Facebook)

The University of Victoria is hosting a community gathering to reflect on the lives of two first-year students who were killed in a tragic bus crash last Friday.

The deceased have been identified as 18-year-old Emma Machado from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 18-year-old John Geerdes from Iowa City, USA.

See also: Two UVic students killed in rollover bus crash on Vancouver Island

They were both first year Biology students travelling to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on a field trip last Friday, September 13th when their chartered bus slid off the roadway and down an embankment.

“Although they had just begun their academic studies at UVic, both of these students demonstrated a love of marine biology and a passion for the natural world,” writes Robin Hicks, acting dean of the Faculty of Science at the university.

The Wilson’s Transportation bus in question was carrying 48 people, including the driver, and several others were injured in the incident.

Police and BC Ministry of Transportation are investigating the fatal crash, analyzing over 40 witness and victim statements as well as exploring whether improvements could have been made to the private, industrial road on which it occurred.

On Tuesday, September 17th, the University of Victoria is hosting a gathering to reflect and support the community at large.

Organized by the university in collaboration with the undergraduate student society, this event is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

It will be held between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. at BiblioCafé on the ground floor of McPherson library.