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Tragedy In Nice, France Touches Local Family

Colin Kruse and friends enjoying Nice, France before the recent terrorist attackes
Colin Kruse and friends enjoying Nice, France before the recent terrorist attacks

Last week we learned that a Windsor Square family had a son studying in Nice, France at the time of the recent attack that killed 84 people.  (On July 14, a cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, along the Nice waterfront.) Thankfully 16 year-old Colin Kruse, a rising junior at Loyola High School, was not injured.

“Colin was at the beach about a mile of east of the Promenade,” his mom Jacqueline Kruse told the Buzz. “He didn’t see the attack on the Promenade – he just saw people running, but didn’t know why. He got separated from his group and ran into a bar inside a restaurant, thinking it was safer to be inside.”

Once inside, Kruse said, everyone was told to be quiet and stay down. Colin’s lack of French fluency made it hard for him to figure out what was going on, but he managed to call his mom from a bathroom because he still had no idea what caused the panic.

Events were rapidly unfolding and there was no official word from the news media, so Kruse turned to Twitter. There, she found the first reports of the truck driving through a crowd of people. She was able to contact the New York office of Colin’s study abroad program and let them know where he was sheltering. Within an hour, he was reunited with his fellow students on the campus of Lycée Masséna in Nice, where he is one of a group of dozen or so students spending the month of July studying French.

Ironically, Colin’s parents selected the program because it was not in Paris and they felt it would be safer.

“It could have been so much worse,” said Kruse. “I’m trying to balance being grateful but not get too overwhelmed at what could have happened. Colin is grateful for all the messages he’s gotten from his friends, it’s makes him feel loved and happy.”

Kruse still believes in the value of studying abroad, learning about other cultures and the valuable perspective that helps fight against hate and terror.  She’s appreciative of the efforts of the program, Summerfuel, which offers programs for high school students all over the world, to try to normalize the students’ remaining weeks.  And she’s hopeful that something good will come from the experience. “Maybe it will inspire him to bring the world together,” she said.

Happily, Colin will be home at the end of the month.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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