By Steve Whitmore and Sally Kilby
Longtime South Pasadena resident Sarah Pantip Wong was killed April 27 in a construction accident in Seattle, Washington. She was 19.
Wong, a freshman student at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) where she was majoring in nursing, was killed when a construction crane collapsed during strong winds at Google’s new campus. The crane fell onto the busy street below, according to published reports.
The collapse killed four people and destroyed six cars, according to published reports. Wong was riding in an Uber at the time with another SPU student. The other student managed to escape unharmed, according to published reports.
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.
Wong graduated high school from Futures Academy in Pasadena, according to published reports. She transferred to this private school after attending South Pasadena High School her freshman year. According to the school’s website, it was once known as Halstrom Academy.
Wong is the daughter of longtime resident Henry Wong, a past president of the South Pasadena Kiwanis Club, and his wife Andrea. They traveled to Seattle immediately.
The couple emailed members of the Kiwanis Club on April 28.
“We are up here in Seattle and have met many of Sarah’s friends who recounted her joy and outgoing personality. Many are affected by Sarah’s absence,” they said in the email.
“Her friends at church in Seattle and at Seattle Pacific University are all grieving,” the email continued. “But we are impressed with the positive impact she had on her friends’ lives.”
Seattle Pacific University also issued the following statement of condolence April 28.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our students passed away in the crane accident in Seattle on April 27. Sarah Wong was in a car on Mercer Street when the crane fell. She was a freshman with an intended major in nursing and lived on campus.
“While we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of our precious student, we draw comfort from each other, our strong community of faith, and God’s presence with us in times of sorrow. We ask that the community join us in praying for Sarah’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
SPU is a Christian university, according to its website. The site describes the school as being “fully committed to engaging the culture and changing the world by graduating people of competence and character, becoming people of wisdom, and modeling grace-filled community.”
Currently, the Wong family asks for time before speaking about her death.
“Andrea and I will be happy to sit down with you and talk about Sarah,” Henry Wong told the South Pasadena Review by email April 29. “The South Pasadena community was a large part of her life.”
“But we will have to do it at later time,” he said. “Emotionally we are not ready to talk to the media now.”
And finally, the family issued the following statement.
“We want to thank the communities of Seattle, Washington, and South Pasadena and San Marino, California, and beyond for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received in honor of our daughter, Sarah Pantip Wong. Known by many as Sarah and by her family and many others as Pantip, we acknowledge the impact she has had on the people God has placed in her life path. As we continue to celebrate her life and mourn our loss, we are comforted by our faith, the faith communities in the Seattle and the Los Angeles areas, and Sarah Pantip’s wonderful community of friends. We understand your requests to learn more about our Pantip; however, we request privacy and are not providing interviews to the media at this time.”