Sonoma State University president, Ruben Armiñana released a campus-wide email Tuesday acknowledging the recent deaths of Sonoma State students Ashley Donohoe and Ernesto Contreras. Donohoe, a senior biology major, died in Berkeley early Tuesday morning when an apartment balcony collapsed, resulting in the death of five others and leaving seven people critically injured.
The five other young people who died in the accident were visiting from Ireland. The apartment was the site of a 21st birthday party, where all 13 people were standing on the balcony prior to its collapse. Donohoe was a resident of Rohnert Park and a 2011 graduate of Rancho Cotate High School.
The others who died in the accident were Oliva Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eimear Walsh, all of whom were 21-years-old and citizens of Ireland visiting the Bay Area with exchange visas for the summer.
According to the New York Times, Donohoe, who held dual citizenship in the U.S. and Ireland, was related to Burke and both of her parents are from Ireland.
The apartment complex is located near the UC Berkeley campus and according to the Press Democrat, police and fire officials are looking into why the apartment balcony collapsed.
Contreras, a sophomore and sociology major, died in the last week of May. More information on the his death is still to be confirmed. In the email sent out to the campus, Armiñana asks for sympathy from students in light of the tragedies that led to both student deaths.