Nicolas Leslie, who is attending a study abroad program in Nice, has not been accounted for after Thursday's attack
Several University of California, Berkeley, students were injured in Thursday’s attack in Nice and one, Nicolas Leslie, is still missing, the university said in a statement.
According to the university, they are working with students, family members, French officials and U.S. consular officials to locate Leslie, who, along with 84 other students, is in Nice attending Berkeley’s month-long Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Europe study abroad program.
“We have 85 over there. We found 84. We’re devastated … we’re hoping that Nick is coming home,” university spokeswoman Claire Holmes told the Los Angeles Times.
Leslie and several other students from the program were celebrating Bastille Day in Nice’s Promenade des Anglais when a truck barreled through the crowd. The attack left at least 84 dead and 120 injured, including several Americans.
A family friend identified only as Antonella told the Times that 20-year-old Leslie has been to Nice before and is familiar with the city.
“[His family is] concerned and they are grieving for everybody that has had any loss there and sending their prayers to everybody,” Antonella said. “They are confident that Nicolas is well. He’s not in any of the list of the deceased so that’s comforting to them. They think that he might be in shock or just trapped some place and need the help of the police to get out.”
Leslie, who Antonella described as “a wonderful, caring young adult, extremely motivated,” is a junior in the College of Natural Resources. His absence was noted after he did not return to student housing with the rest of his classmates after Thursday’s attack.
“Yesterday he was in the zone of the accident. From yesterday, we don’t know – he is missing,” Leslie’s uncle Fabeo Bottini told the Wall Street Journal, adding that one of Leslie’s friends recalled seeing Leslie running away as the truck careened through the crowd.
Leslie’s mother Paola shared a video to her Facebook page featuring Bottini talking about the search for Leslie. According to Paola, pictures included in the video show the outfit her son was last seen wearing.
Berkeley students Vladyslav Kostiuk, 23, and Daryus Medora, 21, suffered broken legs in the attack, while 20-year-old Diane Huang’s foot was broken. The university announced that although the program would continue through its July 24 end date, any students wishing to return home immediately would be allowed to do so. So far, seven students have elected to leave France within the next few days.