The accident took place near Kitchener, where the students studying at King’s University College at Western University in London, were travelling.
“It’s a tremendous loss to our community and we’re deeply saddened, our empathy for the pain their families must be going through is taking a toll on us,” said the university’s president David Malloy.
The two students, who were in their first year of studying social science at the institution, were in the car driving down Highway 401 when their minivan collided with the pickup truck.
Both students were taken to hospital from the scene but later died. They have not yet been named “out of respect for the families” at this time, King’s said.
Three other students, two from King’s and one Western student, who are all from China, were also in the vehicle; two suffered major injuries and are currently still being treated, and the driver of the vehicle was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
“This is a great shock and tragedy for King’s and for the wider Western University community. These were people devoted to studying in Canada. We are deeply saddened and our sympathies are for the families and friends of all those who are impacted by this tragedy,” Malloy said.
“We are also working with the Canadian government and embassies to expedite any travel requirements for the families to get here from China as quickly as possible,” he added.
“These were people devoted to studying in Canada”
Oxford County Ontario’s police department is still carrying out an investigation into the incident. It is believed, according to Malloy, that the five students were heading into Toronto “to do some shopping” as it was the start of the university’s reading week.
“It was a personal trip, just a fun day for them on the first day of no classes and things went terribly wrong on the 401,” Malloy commented.
The driver of the pickup truck was also taken to hospital for major injuries, according to the OPP.
Malloy has decreed that the school’s flags will be lowered as a sign of respect to the deceased.