Quinn Lucas Schansman, the lone American passenger among the dead on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash, was traveling to meet up with family members for a summer vacation in Bali, Indonesia, when his flight – believed to have been brought down by a surface-to-air missile – crashed in Ukraine.
Now the father of the kind, fun-loving 19-year-old college student, who was a dual citizen of the U.S. and the Netherlands, is on his way back to the Netherlands where the remains of his son will be sent after the flight’s 298 victims are properly identified from the charred rubble scattered about the crash site.
“It didn’t need to happen,” Ronald Schansman, Quinn’s grandfather, told NBC News. “A senseless thing to do. We want to know why.”
Schansman, who had a girlfriend and studied at the International Business School in Amsterdam, was born in New Jersey while his father Thomas, a banking executive, worked for the Dutch embassy. Not long after his birth, the family moved to California, then relocated back to the Netherlands around the time of Schansman’s 5th birthday.
A former player with the Dutch minor league soccer team Olympia ’25, Schansman enjoyed posting selfies (often grinning) with his various pals on Instagram. His last photo, posted on July 11, showed two friends kicking back on a trampoline, which he captioned: “just chillin in the garden feelin like a duck.”
Those who knew Schansman recall his “chill” attitude and his ability to defuse all sorts of tense situations. “He stuck up for you and made you laugh when he saw there was something wrong,” Fabienne Schriek, a high school friend, told NBC News. “He was … kind of sensitive and caring. He had a lot of friends and everybody seem[ed] to like him. If there was a fight in class he could cool everyone down again, [make] a joke, and it was like it never happened. He was really down to earth and just [a] fun guy to have around.”