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Student dies in one-car accident in hometown of Portage, Michigan

MIT student Kevin Chao and a friend were killed in a one-car accident on July 24. Mr. Chao was 19 years old and had just completed his freshman year.

He was driving his 1997 Pontiac Firebird to a golf match with a high school friend, Benjamin Kalleward, when he apparently lost control of the vehicle and ran into trees on the side of the road in his hometown, Portage, MI. Police said alcohol was not a factor.

Mr. Chao and Mr. Kalleward, a student at Case Western Reserve University, were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were wearing seat belts and the air bags had deployed.

A member of the lightweight freshman crew and the production staff of The Tech, Mr. Chao was a resident of Burton Connor. He planned to major in electrical engineering and computer science.

Mr. Chao is survived by his parents, Judy and Robert, and a brother, Lawrence, who received the SB from MIT in mechanical engineering last June. A private memorial service was conducted in Michigan. An MIT memorial service will be scheduled in the fall.

A scholarship fund has been established in Mr. Chao's name at the high school he attended, the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center. Contributions may be sent to the school at 600 West Vine St., Suite 400, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 12, 1998.

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