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METRO investigation continues after a Rice University architecture student was identified at the victim in the fatal light rail accident in July. The tragic METRO accident happened at Main on Walker on a Monday.
Vivian Ziwei Guan had usually taken a northbound light rail train to her summer internship at the offices of Ziegler Cooper Architects, but it had been recently relocated to downtown’s Band of America Center on Louisiana. While she was doing her normal routine, Vivian was fatally struck by a southbound train as she crossed the intersection on with her bicycle at the Main Street Square stop.
Reports said that Vivian was a soon to be junior, she was also preparing to return home to New Zealand before the fall semester started on August 26.
The Rice architecture dean, Sarah Whiting talks about Vivian
Vivian was very special in the way that she combined such enthusiasm and intelligence in her work and also for the energy that she brought to the school.
Vivian’s summer mentor and Architect, Scott Ziegler said that her enthusiasm for design was “infectious.” He also said that whenever she was given a new assignment she mastered it with a quick study and she was always ready to take on something new, the entire office at Ziegler Cooper Architects has Vivian and her family in their prayers.
A METRO official said that some eyewitnesses said that the train operator was blowing the horn moments before the accident, which closed service between Main Street Station and the University of Houston Downtown for around three hours. Unconfirmed reports state that Vivian was wearing headphones, however an ongoing full investigation of the intersection and its safety features is taking place.
A former professor of Vivian’s, John Casbarin said that “Vivian was one of the rare students who stood out from the rest because of her incredible intuitive talent, intellect and optimism.” He went on to say he enjoyed having her in the studio and she was always so curious and excited about every challenge ahead. He admitted it’s hard to imagine school without her now.
Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm
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