A 29-year-old film student from Chapman University was killed on Friday after his off-road vehicle crashed on a sand dune near the Arizona border.
"This is the most horrible thing any of us have experienced," said Dean of Chapman's film school Stephen Galloway said. "This was an extraordinary cinematographer."
Galloway said that the student who died was named Peng Wang. He was originally from China and set to graduate this semester.
Three film students from USC, who were wearing their protective equipment, survived the crash. Students from Loyola Marymount University and the New York Film Academy were also at the shoot
"Our deepest sympathy is with the family members of the deceased student on this tragic loss," USC Dean Elizabeth M. Daley wrote in a statement. "We also send condolences to the Chapman University community."
The crash happened just before 1 p.m. on April 15 at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. According to the California Highway Patrol, USC student Bianglang Li was driving on the side of a sand dune with two other USC students, Ting Su and Ziyang Li, as well as the yet to be identified Chapman student.
"All our cinematography faculty were very close to him," Galloway said. "They all knew him, they all loved him."
The students' off-road vehicle a 2022 Can-Am Maverick began to overturn and crash down the side of the dune, which partially ejected the Chapman student, killing him.
Investigators said impairment was not a factor in the fatal crash and that all passengers were wearing the proper safety equipment except for the victim.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
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