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Virgnia Tech student dies after fall at the Cascades

Courtesy: Virginia Tech
Courtesy: Virginia Tech (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

GILES CO. (WSLS 10) - A student at Virginia Tech died following a fall during a hike Saturday at the Cascades. According to the university, John Paul Ojaojogwu Usman, 23, of Nigeria fell into the water during the hike. The university says he was taking classes at the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute as a participant of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The Director of the Institute released the following statement:

"Our thoughts are with John Paul's family in the difficult time. We are devastated by this tragic event," said Don Black.

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria also released the following statement:

"We extend our deepest condolences to John Paul's family and friends over this tragic loss.  John Paul was a rising star, devoted to the causes of sustainable development, children's rights, and peacebuilding in Nigeria.  His selection to the Mandela Washington Fellowship was a tribute to his drive, talent, and dedication to making his country's civil society even stronger.  One of John Paul's professional mentors at Virginia Tech put it best, "While his time with us was short, he was well loved."  This young man will be remembered fondly as a great citizen ambassador of his country.  We mourn his passing."