A college student who talked to a newspaper in 2011 about overcoming the suicide of a brother was struck by a bus early Saturday and killed on a busy highway in western Michigan.
Riley Gortsema, 18, was walking on U.S. 31 when she was hit by a bus around 1:45 a.m. in Holland Township, the Ottawa County sheriff's department said.
She was from Grandville, near Grand Rapids, and was living on campus while taking spring classes at Hope College in Holland. MLive.com said the private bus was being used by a Christian rock group, Audio Adrenaline, although it wasn't clear if members were aboard at the time.
"She was passionate, that's for sure," said Adam Rhodes, who was Gortsema's basketball coach at Calvin Christian High School. "There was hardly a day that she didn't make someone smile, that she didn't think about others before she thought about herself."
In 2011, Gortsema was featured in a Grand Rapids Press series about teens and grief. Her older brother, Travis, a popular student and athlete at Calvin Christian, killed himself in 2008, four days after scoring a winning touchdown. Family members believe concussions may have affected his mental health.
Gortsema told the newspaper that she always felt comforted when she saw a worn path to his grave.
"People put rocks, seashells, golf balls on it. There's physical evidence that I'm not the only (one) thinking about him," she said.