Nick Leslie, a UC Berkeley student studying abroad, is missing after the Nice truck attack, according to news reports.
Leslie, who grew up in Del Mar but who was originally from Italy, was along the promenade when a French-Tunisian citizen drove a truck through crowds of people who had gathered to watch fireworks, killing 84.
“His uncle Fabio Bottini is checking hospitals in Nice to try to locate him and is in contact with his mother back in California,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Daily Beast is reporting, however, that a friend of Leslie’s said he saw the 20-year old bolting off through the streets of Old Nice. However, Leslie’s aunt, Bottini’s wife, said the student never returned to his student housing on Thursday night.
Leslie is a junior in the College of Natural Resources, according to UC Berkeley. He is one of 85 students on a 15-day study abroad program called Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Europe, part of the international European Innovation Academy. The program has been suspended temporarily for France’s three days of mourning.
Three other UC Berkeley students attending the program were also injured in the Nice attack, according to the school. Two students suffered broken legs after the attack and one student has a broken foot, according to UCB News.
The campus has offered to bring home any students who wish to leave; three have taken up the offer so far, according to UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley is also offering counseling services to any students who want them. Drop-in hours at the Tang Center are from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm..
Vice Provost Cathy Koshland and Dean of Students Joseph Defraine Greenwell sent out a message to the community expressing their sympathy to all the affected by this “tragic event” and “senseless violence.”
“We will keep you apprised of our work to find the missing student and know that you join our community in mourning yet another tragic event in the world,” wrote Koshland and Greenwell.
The university has contacted every hospital in the Nice area and none appear to have Leslie as a patient, said Claire Holmes, UC Berkeley’s associate vice chancellor of communications and public affairs. However, the hospitals are so overwhelmed with treating the victims that their records may not be perfect, she said.
“84 of our students are safe; one is unaccounted for,” said Holmes. “We hope we can find him. We are hoping that he will turn up.”
The is the second terrorist attack in two weeks affecting UC Berkeley students. On July 1, Tarishi Jain was killed by Bangladeshi terrorists who took over a restaurant in Dakash, the country’s capital. She was 18.
Leslie is an accomplished kite surfer and scuba diver, according to his Facebook page.
Watch the Wall Street Journal’s video interview with Leslie’s uncle here.
Update 6:15 p.m.: Two of the three UC Berkeley students injured in the truck attack have been released from the hospital and have returned to their summer dormitories, according to the university. The third remains hospitalized. Leslie has still not been found.
UC Berkeley is sending a representative of the Study Abroad program to Nice to assist the students who were on the exchange program. Four of the 85 students have elected to return home. Another three will leave this weekend.
This story was updated as more information became available.
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