Northwestern student John Thumel dies in Texas car crash


Source: Cody Warner

John Thumel, a McCormick senior, died Sunday morning after suffering injuries in a car crash. The crash occurred in Texas, where Thumel was working as an engineering intern.

Julia Jacobs, Summer Editor

McCormick senior John Thumel died Sunday morning after a car crash in south Texas, his family said Monday.

Thumel, a fifth-year engineering student, died from injuries sustained in a crash early Friday morning, according to the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office.

Troopers responded to a call at about 2:30 a.m. Friday that a car had veered off the road in Brazoria County and struck a barricade, flipping over multiple times before landing in a ditch, according to the Texas Highway Patrol. No one else was in the car with Thumel, authorities said.

Thumel, 22, was airlifted from the crash site to University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he died early Sunday, his mother, Laura Thumel, said.

“He was such a bright, charismatic, fun and loving person and we are so fortunate to have had him in our lives,” she wrote in an email to The Daily. “His 22 years on this earth were much too short but he lived his life to the fullest and we are proud of the person he was and all that he accomplished.”

John Thumel, who is from Libertyville, Illinois, was working this summer as an engineering intern at the Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas. He had been working for the company as part of McCormick’s Walter P. Murphy Cooperative Engineering Education Program.

At Northwestern, Thumel was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

“The death of any member of the Northwestern community impacts us all,” University spokesman Bob Rowley said in an email to The Daily. “Our kindest thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this time.”

Thumel’s family will be hosting a wake Friday and a funeral the following day in Libertyville.

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