Malaysian plane crash victim was Indiana exchange student

In this undated photo provided by Amsterdam student rowing club Skoll on Saturday, July 19, 2014, Karlijn Keijzer, left, a 25-year-old Dutch graduate student at Indiana University, and her boyfriend Laurens van der Graaff, right, are seen. Keijzer and van der Graaff were among those killed when a Malaysian jetliner was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was carrying 298 people from 13 nations when it was shot down Thursday in eastern Ukraine close to the Russian border, an area that has seen months of clashes between government troops and pro-Russia separatists. (AP Photo/Amsterdam student rowing club Skoll)
In this undated photo provided by Amsterdam student rowing club Skoll on Saturday, July 19, 2014, Karlijn Keijzer, left, a 25-year-old Dutch graduate student at Indiana University, and her boyfriend Laurens van der Graaff, right, are seen. Keijzer and van der Graaff were among those killed when a Malaysian jetliner was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was carrying 298 people from 13 nations when it was shot down Thursday in eastern Ukraine close to the Russian border, an area that has seen months of clashes between government troops and pro-Russia separatists. (AP Photo/Amsterdam student rowing club Skoll)

DEMOTTE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana University graduate student’s boyfriend who died with her on the downed plane in Ukraine had spent six months in northwestern Indiana as a high school exchange student.

Jenny Jonkman says Laurens Van Der Graaff came from the Netherlands in 2003 and lived with her family in DeMotte during their senior year at Kankakee Valley High School.

Jonkman tells The Times of Munster that Van Der Graaff had been dating Karlijn Keijzer for several years and visited Keijzer in Bloomington each spring and fall. They were heading on vacation when the Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down Thursday.

Jonkman says Van Der Graaff quickly became popular in school. He was picked as prom king and made the varsity basketball team before breaking his foot.

blog comments powered by Disqus