Butler professor opens up about former student killed in helicopter crash in NYC

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s been revealed that one of the five people killed in a helicopter crash in New York City was a Butler University graduate named Daniel Thompson. Tuesday, a former professor of his opened up to CBS4 about the kind of person he was.

“Daniel was a wonderful young man. He had a lot of friends, he loved singing, he loved helping people and he was just a great friend,” said Susan Zurbuchen, the Director of Arts Administration for the Jordan College of the Arts.

Zurbuchen said she knew Thompson all four years he attended Butler and he even lived with her for six months after graduation, working as a house and pet sitter. Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree in arts administration in 2006. He also sang and loved performing.

“He had a beautiful voice. And he also loved performing, he was very gregarious and a lot of fun. He made us laugh a lot,” said Zurbuchen.

At the time of his death, the 34-year-old was the president of the nonprofit Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.

Zurbuchen said the last time she spoke with Thompson was about a month ago. He called her just to chat.

“We always say once a Bulldog always a Bulldog and I think that’s very true,” said the professor. “There are lots of pictures, anytime anybody went to New York City they would then stop and want to visit with Daniel while they were there.”

Zurbuchen said she didn’t know if the university will do anything to honor Thompson, but she wants people to remember him for the great man he was.

“I think we can remember him as a wonderful young man who lived his dream and continued to be a big part of the community that he lived in,” she said.

The fatal crash remains under investigation.

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