Student dies while hiking in Russia, officials at University of Texas say

AUSTIN — A Texas Tech University student participating in a University of Texas study program in Russia died in a fall, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reports. University of Texas officials say Elmer Arrieta, a graduate student at Texas Tech’s College of Architecture, has been killed while hiking on Olkhon Island in Eastern Siberia.

“It’s with heavy hearts that we remember Elmer Arrieta, who tragically passed away in Russia yesterday. He was a dedicated architecture student and a respected and cherished member of our Red Raider family. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time,” the school said in a statement on Facebook.

The 27-year-old Arrieta, an El Paso native, was one of 20 students involved in the hike Saturday on the island about 3,400 miles east of Moscow and north of Mongolia.

University of Texas Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly says Arrieta’s parents have been notified and the school is providing assistance to them. School counselors also have been sent to Irkutsk, the major city in the area.

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