Injured BU student coming home after crash abroad
BOSTON—The Boston University student who survived a minivan crash in New Zealand that killed three classmates is returning to Massachusetts.
Meg Theriault (TAIR'-ee-oh) and her parents took a medical flight that was expected to arrive in Boston on Wednesday, according to the Waikato District Health Board in New Zealand.
Before they left, the 21-year-old Salisbury woman's parents thanked hospital officials.
"It has been a much different journey than what these adventurous students had originally planned," the couple said in a statement health officials released. "Our experiences have taught us to look at the world through very different eyes ... As we land in Boston, we will be back with Meg's extended family and so many of her friends that have sent their love and prayers to her from the other side of the world."
Theriault's mother Deb also said her daughter, who underwent brain surgery and had been in a medically-induced coma, would return to New Zealand after finishing her college studies to trek the Tongariro Crossing.
The BU students were heading to hike the well-known volcanic crater last month when their minivan rolled over, killing Austin Brashears of Huntington Beach, Calif.; Daniela Lekhno of Manalapan, N.J.; and Roch Jauberty of Paris, France.
Theriault had been studying abroad in Australia, but the college junior had joined other Boston University students in New Zealand for a weekend outing when the crash happened.
The BU student who was driving the van that crashed pleaded guilty to seven counts of careless driving causing injury or death in New Zealand on Wednesday.
A judge disqualified 20-year-old student Stephen Houseman from driving in New Zealand for six months, but didn't impose what would have been a maximum penalty of 21 months in jail.