Latest Details: Brandeis University IDs Student Killed in Bus Crash in Mass.

The shuttle bus contracted by Brandeis University was returning to campus from a hockey game at Northeastern University Saturday when it crashed into a tree, injuring 27 people and killing Vanessa Mark, an undergraduate student.

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An investigation is underway after a bus carrying Brandeis University students crashed into a tree late Saturday night, less than a mile from the college's campus in Waltham, Massachusetts, killing one student and injuring 26 others, as well as the bus driver.

The shuttle bus contracted by Brandeis was returning to campus from a hockey game at Northeastern University when it crashed into a tree on South Street shortly after 10:30 p.m.

In a statement released Sunday morning, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office stated 27 students were on the bus, and that one student had been pronounced dead at the scene. Later Sunday, a spokesperson for Brandeis University said the Waltham Police Department had identified the student killed as 25-year-old Vanessa Mark, an undergraduate student at the university.

Read the full statement from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office here

Community Mourns Loss of Brandeis Student, Vanessa Mark

University President Ron Liebowitz said in a letter to the school community that although Mark was currently on leave, she was living in Waltham and was an active and cherished member of the Brandeis community.

Liebowitz noted school officials have been in touch with Mark's family and will continue to stay in touch with them. He also said they would keep the community updated about ways the university will honor Mark's memory.

NBC10 Boston has learned that a vigil is set to be held Monday night at the Brandeis University campus at one of the chapels as students mourn the loss of one of their own.

"I was just in shock, like, this is, you know, you usually hear about that stuff and it involved people from our school. So you don’t really, it was kind of scary,” sophomore Madison Williams-Casey said.

“This morning I found out a couple people that were on there, so I just texted them to make sure that they’re OK and everyone that I talked to is OK,” junior Nikita Mangaru said. "Brandeis makes a very clear stance of togetherness so I think standing on that pillar of our school is something that is going to help us get through this time, definitely.”

Julie Jette, Brandeis University's assistant vice president of communications, noted that the university is providing counseling and support and will continue to do so in the coming days.

"I know that sadness over last night's fatal shuttle accident is rippling through our community today. We are all experiencing the shock of such a terrible accident, and everyone's recovery will take time," Liebowitz said, reiterating that there are resources available for the school community to draw upon during this "difficult time."

Students can contact the Brandeis Counseling Center 24/7 at 781-736-3730. The counseling center was open until 4 p.m. Sunday, and students were encouraged to drop in for support. The Dean of Students Office, the Office of Graduate Student Affairs, and the Center for Spiritual Life will be open Monday-Wednesday this week, Liebowitz added.

"Staff and faculty who may be struggling with this loss can get help through the Employee Assistance Plan," he said. "Most importantly, we all need to support and comfort each other."

Given the tragedy, the university, which has about 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students, cancelled classes for Monday and Tuesday to allow for students to return to their families and friends sooner than the normal holiday schedule would have allowed. Students who remain on campus ahead of the Thanksgiving break "will have additional opportunities to gather and receive support," Jette added.

"In a few days, many of us will be gathering with family and friends; while this holiday may be difficult, it is my hope that spending time with loved ones will help us begin to heal," Liebowitz said. "When we return from the break, I know our community will continue to come together in support of one another."

Brandeis University senior Draken Garfinkel told NBC10 Boston the school's counseling center is "a highly valued institution."

"I just hope that a lot of people feeling grief know who they can turn to rather than internalizing things and dealing with their pain in less than optimal ways," he said.

Garfinkel, who says he takes the shuttle regularly, is shaken by the incident.

"On the weekends, this is a far more convenient option, just now I think I'll be much more hesitant to take the shuttle," he said.

The City of Waltham also released a statement on Twitter, saying the city's thoughts and prayers are with the Brandeis community as they "work to recover from this horrible accident."

Latest Update on Those Who Were on the Bus

Officials have not released the identities of anyone else on the bus or any details about the bus driver.

In a statement posted to the University's website Sunday morning, Brandeis said the institution is working with local hospitals and the Waltham Police Department to check on everyone who was injured in the "tragic accident," ensuring all emergency contacts have been notified.

"Given the number of injured people and the different hospitals to which they were transported, it is taking time to determine the status of everyone involved, including which passengers are Brandeis students," the statement read.

The university's first statement on Sunday said that of the 27 people who were taken to hospitals in the area, 17 have been released while 11 remain hospitalized for further care. A second statement posted to the school's website at 2 p.m. Sunday said "nearly all" had been released.

"Please also understand that due to privacy concerns, the university will not be releasing a list of those who were injured," the statement continued.

PHOTOS: Massive Response to Fatal Bus Crash in Waltham

What Happened: Timeline of Events

When an NBC10 Boston crew first arrived to the scene Saturday night, Weston Fire Chief Justin Woodside said that at least a dozen people were injured when the large bus carrying an unknown number of passengers crashed. Woodside also initially reported that the bus had rolled over multiple times, however officials said Sunday morning that the preliminary investigation suggests the bus struck a tree. Jette later said school officials have no information that the shuttle rolled over.

Video from the scene showed a badly damaged bus next to a pole in a residential area, with debris littering the roadway and multiple first responders and firefighters from Waltham, Weston and Newton working the scene. It appears the front end of the bus, which looked to have the most extensive damage, collided with a tree.

The bus came to a rest right near the sign for the Watermill Center, a six-story office building on South Street.

Several passengers were seen being wheeled away on stretchers, and crowds of people had gathered just outside the yellow police tape that was blocking off the active scene.

The driver and 26 other students on the bus were taken to nearby hospitals. Without elaborating, the DA's office said they sustained injuries of "varying degrees."

Crews worked overnight to clean the debris, and were seen towing away the mangled bus early Sunday morning. All the windows were completely shattered, and wires were dangling down as crews worked for several hours.

What Witnesses Saw

"I was inside and I heard a big crash and bang, and at first I wasn't alarmed because there's big trucks that go over a lot but then I heard glass breaking and so I came out and I saw all the trucks... people on the side of the road that were obviously very hurt," said Meghan Jacobs, who just moved into the house across the street two weeks ago.

"There was lots of blood and people were obviously very hurt," she added. "It's very shocking, very wasn't expected obviously. It's horrible, and I'm just praying for everybody."

Jacobs said it looked like a bunch of college kids were on the bus. Brandeis University is located in Waltham, only about a half mile from where the bus crashed.

"It's pretty horrifying, I feel terrible," she added.

Ongoing Investigation

Authorities have not released any information as to what may have caused the fatal crash. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has any information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the Waltham Police Department at 781-314-3600.

"Adding to the difficulty of absorbing such painful news is the fact that we all have many unanswered questions at this time," Liebowitz said, acknowledging that school officials have been working with Waltham police as they investigate what happened.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our students, and we are committed to learning all that we can about how this happened," Liebowitz added.

The shuttle bus belongs to Joseph's Transportation, out of Medford, Massachusetts. NBC10 Boston has reached out to the transportation company for comment but has not heard back.

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