David Yang ’11 of Hillsborough, N.J. was killed Sunday evening while riding with his girlfriend in a Suzuki Forenza that was struck broadside by a Ford F-150 pickup truck at approximately 5:30 p.m. Yang was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident several miles northwest of Springfield, Mo., and the drivers of the two cars were transported to nearby hospitals with minor to moderate injuries.
Yang was returning from Oklahoma with his girlfriend ,Brianna Paolicelli of Millford, N.J., who was teaching in Oklahoma during the summer. According to the police report, Paolicelli was driving at the time of the accident and was taken to St. Johns Hospital of Springfield with minor injuries, while the driver of the pickup truck suffered moderate injuries.
Yang transferred from New York University his sophomore year and majored in biological sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. During his first year at Cornell, Yang actively participated in extracurricular activities. He was the national chair of his fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon, a cultural chair on the executive board of the Chinese Students Association and an active member of the Cornell Asian Pacific-Islander Students Union.
“He was very active in the fraternity,” Ivan Tse ’12, one of Yang’s pledge brothers, said. “He was close with alumni and brothers from other chapters.”
Yang’s pledge brothers said that they will miss his friendly, outgoing personality.
“David was one of those people that would lighten the atmosphere,” Kenneth Fujita ’12 said. “He was completely spontaneous. You could ask him for help with anything and almost guarantee that he’d go with you. He was just a really good, really nice guy.”
Yang was planning to change his major to Applied Economics and Management in the fall, according to his friend and fraternity brother Raymond Chu ’12. Yang was a prospective entrepreneur, Chu said, and had spent his summer interning in the finance department of Arbitrage Apparel in New York City.
“David had planned to spend next summer in China to learn about retail clothing and clothing production,” Tse said. “He wanted to start his own clothing business, which is very impressive.”
Community support meetings will be organized and made available to the Cornell community by the Dean of Students Office, and crisis counselors are available to students through Gannett Health Services, according to Press Relations Office Director Simeon Moss ’73.
“The University is deeply saddened to hear about the loss of this member of our community,” Moss said.
Yang’s funeral service will be held on Aug. 29 at 11:00 a.m. in his hometown of Hillsborough. He is survived by his mother, Wenying Huang, father, Jiacheng Yang, and sister, Stephanie Yang.