Hope student killed when hit by bus

A Hope College student was hit and killed by a bus near campus early Saturday morning.
May 25, 2013


The incident happened at about 1:45 a.m. near the Chicago Drive and U.S. 31 intersection, where 18-year-old Riley Gortsema was walking.

Her friend, Erika Hansen, said she was with Gortsema a few hours before the accident. She said she didn't know why Gortsema was walking by the freeway on-ramps.

"Everyone knew Riley," Hansen said. "It's just sad that this had to happen to her. ... She just radiated energy and was so full of life."

Gortsema had just finished her first year at Hope College, and was going to live on campus through the summer to take extra classes and spend time with her friends.

She was a graduate of Calvin Christian High in Grandville. Her older brother unexpectedly died when she was in high school.

"So, she's one happy girl with him right now," Hansen said. "... She will be missed dearly. No one will forget her."

Hope College staff sent out an e-mail to students on Saturday, offering counseling.


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