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Foreign exchange student on life support after accident at Miner Village

“He had a very kind heart and was also very interested in learning Spanish,” Castanon said. “He loved to play around with jokes and had a strong sense of integrity and respect towards others.”
Foreign exchange student on life support after accident at Miner Village
Photo courtesy of Amaris Castanon

As of Saturday, foreign exchange student Achim Schweighofer, 23, of Austria is in a coma and has been set as an organ donor, according to Achim’s girlfriend Amaris Castañon, senior cellular and molecular biochemistry major, who has been in constant contact with nurses at University Medical Center.

The hospital will assess organ donor compatibilities with patients within the hospital before unplugging him from life support, Castañon said.

An automobile at the southwest side of Miner Village hit Schweighofer on Friday afternoon.

He suffered an internal hemorrhage—leaving his brain practically dysfunctional—after his head hit the asphalt very hard at the time of the accident, Castañon said through email.

The driver of the car was a female UTEP student driving at an excessive speed in dormitory parking, Castañon said.

“We offer our deepest condolences to Achim’s family and friends as they deal with the tragic loss of their loved one,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio in a press release. “While we cannot know the depths of their grief, the UTEP family will do everything we can to help comfort them. This was a very unfortunate accident.”

Schweighofer’s mother and uncle flew in from Austria and arrived on Saturday. His father, however, could not because his passport is expired.

Schweighofer came to UTEP in August. He was known as a smart, hard-working individual, loved by everyone. Castañon said he was doing part of his master’s in computer and electrical engineering at UTEP for one year.

“One of his last texts to me was that he received a 110 in his microprocessor exam,” Castañon said, adding that he was incredibly comprehensible and had a loving heart.

Prior to UTEP, Schweighofer had studied at Graz University of Technology at Graz, Austria.

“He had a very kind heart and was also very interested in learning Spanish,” she said. “He loved to play around with jokes and had a strong sense of integrity and respect towards others.”

Schweighofer was a member of Miner Trotter, an international student organization. The organization recently held an international dinner in which he was voted best Miner Trotter cook with his famous Austrian plate, “Wienerschnitzel,” Castañon said.

Kristopher Rivera may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kristopher Rivera, Copy Editor
At the beginning of Kristopher Rivera’s sophomore year, he was sitting in a psychology course, pondering his future in regards to a career. He questioned if he really wanted to pursue a career in psychology, which was his major at the time. Feeling uncertain, he began to think of how one decision at that moment would shift everything about his future. He seemed to do well when it came to writing, and he enjoyed reading about bands in magazines such as Alternative Press, Rolling Stone and SPIN. So then he did some research and found that journalism was the way to go. Now, Rivera, senior multimedia journalism major, is scheduled to graduate this fall. It’s also marks his third year with the Prospector. He’s covered stories in sports, entertainment and news. In between some time at the Prospector, Rivera landed two internships. He spent his fall 2012 semester in Washington D.C. as an intern reporter for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire. Many UTEP students like him have had the privilege to go experience living at the nation’s capital. He covered stories in the area, and saw political figures such as President Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Rivera also had a nice opportunity to see the Who at the National Press Club, where they talked about their organization to help children with cancer. This summer Rivera was in Sacramento, Calif. working as an intern reporter for the Sacramento Bee newspaper. He had the opportunity to cover all kinds of stories such as a homicide, community events, major league baseball games—specifically the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants, and he had some opportunities to work on some music features. He interviewed Ellie Goulding, Cedric Bixler-Zavala (the Mars Volta/At the Drive-In), Randy Ebright of Molotov and a few other artists. Rivera said he’s been blessed to have these opportunities, and it all started at the Prospector. Rivera is also a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
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    David CaraveoNov 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Will there be a collection of donations started for any expenses the family may have or just to help in some form???

    Reply
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Foreign exchange student on life support after accident at Miner Village