Students at Bates College in Maine will gather Monday afternoon to memorialize a classmate who died while studying in Rome.

The death of John Durkin, a native of Rye Beach, was reported Saturday. He was living in Rome through a study-broad program with five other Bates students. Durkin apparently was struck by a train, but Italian authorities refused to release more details about his death. It is still unclear how or why he would have traveled to the spot where he was found.

The accident affected all the students in the small college’s tight-knit community. The Boston Globes reports sophomore Erica Veazey said, “We live in this cushy world at Bates. Most of the time we just go to class and to the [dining hall]. It’s easy. But then when something like this happens to one of us, it’s kind of a reality check.”

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