In the frosty depths of January, two Wash U freshmen were killed in a freak trolley accident. Austine Munster suffered spinal and cranial pulverization and Chad Brunswick was disemboweled when an innocent stunt involving a Bird Scooter and a beer funnel went tragically wrong on Delmar Boulevard. A month later, WUnderground spoke with the friends who survived them to discuss the effect their loss has had on the community.
“I’ll never forget Chad and Austin,” said Charlie Dunn, who would have been suitemates with the deceased next year. “It was just such a jarring thing, losing them so suddenly, and so horrifically. The six of us were really tight, you know?”
“It was tough. It was real tough. But the university understood that. And for that I’m really grateful,” said Kyle Smith, another future suitemate, when asked about adjusting to daily routine after the accident. “They just did little things for us. Like, they let the four of us change get a modern suite in Gregg. You know, since we went from six to four. So grieving has been just a little bit easier knowing that we’ll have an elevator next year.”
“Don’t forget the tempurpedic mattresses,” added Tim Nelson, another friend of the deceased.
“I just can’t get the image out of my head,” said Dunn. “It’s tough to think about anything else, really. It’s touched every aspect of my life. It’s been bringing me down academically. How am I supposed to focus on my studies when I keep seeing that fucking 8.5 by 11 foot well furnished dorm room with great natural lighting in my mind?”
“I was devastated after Chad and Austin died,” said Michael Wheeler. “But things like this really make you take a look at life. God works in mysterious ways. And as cruel as fate can be sometimes, I think if you take the time to reflect, there’s always some way it could have been worse. Just imagine if only one of them had died? What would we have done then?”
“Chad and Austin died for the boys,” added Nelson. “Some people would have us simply ruminate on their deaths; I prefer to look at their legacy.”