TRU students remember academic advisor killed in Kamloops accident | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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TRU students remember academic advisor killed in Kamloops accident

Lucy Phua, 54, has been identified over social media as the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a truck last Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, near Thompson Rivers University.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Lucy Phua
November 26, 2019 - 7:00 AM

The spot where a 54-year-old woman died more than a week ago near Thompson Rivers University has turned into a memorial site honouring her life.

Lucy Phua was identified through social media as the pedestrian killed near the university on Friday, Nov. 15 at the intersection of McGill Road and University Drive. TRU officials confirmed the pedestrian killed was a university employee.

According to Phua’s social media accounts she was an academic advisor for TRU.

Some of her students have taken the time to write tribute messages regarding Phua, including university student Jeremy Nicholson.

“I met (Lucy Phua) three years ago when I started my Bachelor’s of science program. She was my academic advisor,” he says. “I have have several advisors and she was my favourite, she was really down to earth, compassionate person.”

Nicholson says Phua was the type of advisor who would go out of her way to ask students how they were doing outside of school.

“She was very nice that way. She supported me with my music when I told her I was an artist and she even bought one of my CDs,” he says. “She was pretty cool."

At one point, Nicholson says he remembers struggling with his heavy science course load and thought he would drop out and if it wasn’t for Phua, he would have left his program prematurely.

“She laid out this plan for me and made it look possible and gave me hope and told me I didn’t have to take all these hard classes when other advisors had told me I would have to take them,” he says. “She just had a way of making you not beat yourself up and (realize) things were not as bad as you thought they were.”

Nicholson say when he found out the news about his advisor, he was in shock and didn’t know what to think.

“It just kind of tripped me out because she’s the one I go and talk to if I need help with my schooling,” he says. “We weren’t close in the fact that we spent time together but we were close because she had a really important role in my life at the time.”

Surbhi Spolia, a psychology and english major at TRU, says her interactions with Phua were short but meaningful.

“She helped me with my courses… she was really helpful, kind and nice,” she says, noting the mood at the university has changed since the accident.

“I looked into the offices where she worked and everybody seemed quiet,” she says. “It’s so sad.”

Police responded to the incident at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. Phua was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by a truck. Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says Phua was walking through a crosswalk at a green light while the driver, a man in his 40s, was turning left.

Police say the investigation is still ongoing and are looking at factors such as weather and the amount of light in the area.

A funeral for Phua will take place on Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Summit Baptist Church at 1975 Summit Dr.

No charges have been laid at this time.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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