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UW-Madison responds to student deaths

August 27, 2008 By John Lucas

The University of Wisconsin–Madison campus community is mourning the deaths of three of its students in a Midvale Boulevard car accident early today (Aug. 27).

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of three members of our campus community,” says Dean of Students Lori Berquam. “The timing of this tragedy, just as we’re about to start a new semester, hits us all particularly hard.”

ODOS offers our deepest and sincerest sympathies to all those who knew, attended class or worked with Lindsey Plank, Richard Putze and Daniel Myers,” Berquam says. “In particular, our thoughts go out to their parents and families, during this time of grief.”

The Madison Fire Department said a car crashed into a tree at 215 S. Midvale Blvd., near the intersection of Midvale Boulevard and Hillcrest Drive, at about 1:45 a.m.

One of the victims was pronounced dead on the scene. Two others were taken to UW Hospital and Clinics, where both of them later passed away.

The students have been identified by the Dane County Coroner as:

  • Lindsey Plank, 23, of Madison. Plank was a senior majoring in chemistry.
  • Richard Putze, 22, of Madison. Putze was a senior majoring in chemistry.
  • Daniel Myers, 22, of Madison. Myers was not enrolled for the fall semester, but had this summer completed his degree requirements for graduation with a major in music performance, with a piano specialty.

“The UW chemistry community is devastated by this loss,” says Professor Robert Hamers, chair of the Department of Chemistry. “In addition to being chemistry majors, Lindsey and Richard volunteered their time and energy to assist with lecture demonstrations. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the family and friends of all three students.”

UW-Madison has resources available to the campus community, including individuals or groups, who have been affected by the tragedy.

Students interested in crisis support as a result of this, or any other situation, are encouraged to call University Health Services Counseling and Consultation Services, either during business hours, or through its 24-hour crisis line. Both numbers are (608) 265-5600.

Students may also call the Offices of the Dean of Students (ODOS) at (608) 263-5700 or e-mail

Faculty or staff members in need of counseling are encouraged to call the Employee Assistance Office at (608) 263-2987.

Friends or classmates interested in helping to organize a campus memorial are encouraged to call ODOS at (608) 263-5700.