FAU campus in shock after fatal plane crash

Grad student Damion Marx, 35, died in the crash.
Grad student Damion Marx, 35, died in the crash.

Reporter: Lindsay Cohen

Of the four people killed in the plane crash that occured Thursday morning in Martin County, three were affiliated with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

The flags fly at half-staff on the campus of Florida Atlantic University. "I have no words," says staff member Daphna Sagher.

No words to describe the loss of three people tied to the University.

Two graduduate students; Damion Marx, 35, and Phil Heidemann, 43; and a lab tech; Gareth Akerman, 36; were using the plane to study the migration patterns of birds.

It was a passion that a neighbor says Marx's wife, Luli, looked upon with humor and happiness. "She actually made a comment of he didn't know what he going to do with that. I guess travel the world; that's what they wanted to do," says Mike Galioto.

Word of the tragedy traveled quickly and hit many on the Boca Raton campus extremely hard. "I think it's horrific, and these are such nice people - wonderful group of students. [It] breaks my heart, breaks my heart," continues Sagher.

Student Nadya LeBlanc says, "My heart goes out to them and their families and stuff, but, I think, there is kind of a somber feel around campus when things like this occur."

That somber feel lingering as friends, family and neighbors cope with the news of three lives taken all too soon.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet. I haven't seen anyone crying yet. I'm sure, you know, his family's going to be here, and his wife is going to take it pretty hard," says Galioto.