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Thursday, December 01, 2022

UF student dies Saturday after accident at Lake Wauburg

A UF student died Saturday night after jumping into Lake Wauburg trying to catch a football.

UF sophomore Oscar Ahumuza, 21, died at Shands at UF, according to a University Police Department press release. However, according to Ahumuza?s Facebook profile, he was 20 years old.

The cause of death could not be confirmed by press time.

Ahumuza was at a barbecue with Chi Alpha, an on-campus Christian Fellowship group, at Lake Wauburg when he was taken to Shands.

Jon Lash, student president of Chi Alpha, said they were catching a football while jumping off the dock. The English senior said he was throwing the football when Ahumuza?s turn came.

He said that at first he thought Ahumuza was joking around, but when he didn?t surface, others jumped in to find him.

He was found by a Lake Wauburg lifeguard, he said.

Lash said he had a hard time finding Ahumuza because the grass in the water made it hard to see.

The lifeguard that jumped in found Ahumuza right away, he said.

CPR was performed on Ahumuza as he was loaded for transport to Shands at UF where he was pronounced dead at 11 p.m., according to the release.

Greg Travassos, a UF electrical engineering senior, said he met Ahumuza through Chi Alpha, and Ahumuza was always kind and full of joy.

"He was a great friend," he said.

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Word spread quickly about the passing of the UF student.

Friends and classmates met in Graham Hall on Sunday evening to remember Ahumuza.

In attendance was Pramod Khargonekar, dean of the College of Engineering, who had taught Ahumuza.

"He was a very bright student," Khargonekar said. "I have the fondest memories of him. He would ask the most insightful questions. He had one of the brightest smiles I?ve ever seen."

Also in attendance was Roberto Hernandez, former engineering student and Ahumuza?s mentor in Successful Transition through Enhanced Preparation for Undergraduate Programs, also known as STEPUP.

"He was a gentleman," Hernandez said, "a shining star among many stars here. I really wish he was still here."

Alligator Staff Writer Andrew Tan contributed to this report.

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