Three months before a Boston University student was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer, he penned his own obituary for a journalism class.
Christopher Weigl was riding his bike to school on Commonwealth Avenue on Thursday when he was hit by the truck. His story has reverberated throughout the Internet in the days following his death.
The Boston Globe reported that Weigl was hit when the tractor-trailer was making a wide turn, and he was riding in the designated bicycle lane. It’s the fifth bicycle death in the city in 2012 and reportedly inspired a community debate over whether cyclists are cautious enough or if it’s simply a question of drivers paying too little attention.
The emotion from Weigl’s story seems to come from what he had written about himself, though. On the first day at BU -- Weigl had previously attended Skidmore college -- the 23-year-old student was assigned to write his own obituary. It’s an assignment that Professor Mitchell Zuckoff hands out every year.
After graduating from Skidmore, the aspiring photojournalist traveled to southeast Asia, where he “cemented” his love of the art form, according to the Associated Press.
“Just the ideal student: smart, mature, curious, in school for all the right reasons,” Zuckoff said of Weigl.
The Boston Globe published Christopher’s self-penned obituary in its entirety.
“Lifelong Massachusetts resident and Boston University graduate student Christopher Weigl, 22, passed away September 5 after protracted complications stemming from obituary writing,” he wrote.
“After graduation, Christopher indulged his love of travel by embarking on a six-week trip through Operation Groundswell, a voluntourism organization, to find a story and do service projects in Cambodia and Thailand. It was on the little Cambodian island of Koh Rong, where he interviewed locals and uncovered a government takeover of the island, that Christopher found a story and cemented his love for photojournalism.”