JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- An incoming freshman at Carson-Newman University died Friday in an accident while on a study abroad trip to Guatemala.
Seth Washam was killed due to an electrical short while swimming in a hotel pool.
Washam's sister, Emma, a junior at Carson-Newman, was also injured in the incident.
Ross Brummett, senior vice president for student affairs at Carson-Newman told WVLT News the study abroad trip ended the previous Friday. Their father, Shannon, joined them a few days later in Guatemala to spend the week on vacation. He said Shannon was on his way to the pool when the hotel lost power.
"It's always hard. It's always, always hard but the nature of it is just freakish and that sort of intensifies the grief, the sadness and the shock," said Brummett. "We are who we are and we do what we do and we support each other and rally around each other as a community. We are hurting but we will heal"
Brummett said the family came home to East Tennessee Sunday night.
The two are the children of Carson-Newman alumni Shannon and Jean-Ann Washam. Jean-Ann is the executive director of the University’s Appalachian Outreach home repair ministry.
“The prayers of our entire campus community is that God will be a refuge and an ever present help to the Washam family at this time,” said Carson-Newman President Charles A. Fowler. “For Shannon, Jean-Ann and Emma, we pray for God’s comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Brummett said Seth was a rising math star who also tutored students at his alma mater, Gibbs High School.
"We are a deeply caring community, we do what we do because we are who we are and the response has been wide ranging and deep," said Brummett.
The University created a donation page and all money given will to to assist the Washam family.
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