Caitlin Dickson told people to help others first

By Jamie Morton

Caitlin Dickson, who died as a result of a bus crash in Kenya, told passengers going to her aid to help others first, despite being badly injured.

Former Bethlehem College student Caitlin Dickson, 19, died along with Tauranga couple Brian and Grace Johnston when the mini-van they were in lost control and ran into a ditch on Kenya's notorious Nairobi-Murang'a highway at 11pm on Tuesday.

At a press conference at the college today, principal Eoin Crosbie said Caitlin had told those trying to help her to help others on the bus first, saying "I'm okay".

Her best friend, Lydia Hollister-Jones, 18, said that was the sort of person that Caitlin was.

The trio were part of the Bethlehem College mission partnership programme with Kenya's Ark Quest School in Mahanga, and among a group of 12 students from the school, accompanied by seven adults.

Caitlin had been largely responsible for establishing a well in Mahanga that services about 10,000 people, Lydia said.

She described her friend as "brave and beautiful".

"I was so blessed to be able to know her."

Mr Crosby said three Bethlehem College students remained in hospital in Kenya, two of them seriously injured.

Some of them were unaware their friends were dead, he said.

The bodies of the dead were expected to be home soon.

"I think they'll be back fairly quickly and that is already underway," Mr Crosby said.

A vigil was organised at Bethlehem College chapel this morning by Lydia and another of Caitlin's friends, Matt Smallberger, giving those who knew Caitlin the opportunity to write in a condolence book and pray.

About 150 people had registered to come along on Facebook.

Locals had also held their own service for the dead at the Kenyan hospital.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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