Quinn Lucas Schansman, an American with Dutch dual citizenship has been confirmed to have been killed when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot out of the sky on July 17. Schansman, 19, was a student on his way to Bali for vacation with family when the plane was shot down over the Russian-Ukraine border. For the first time since the tragedy, Schansman's family speaks out about their beloved grandson, great nephew, and cousin.
Ronald Schansman, Quinn's grandfather, who lives in Holland, was visiting his sister--Quinn's great-aunt--when he first received news that his grandson was on the ill-fated flight. As reported by NJ.com, the news was shocking and deeply sad to the elder Schansman.
"He was a big boy, very lively, and we'll all miss him," said Schansman, from his sister's home. "As a grandfather, you just hope none of your children or grandchildren go before you, but now that's happened."Quinn Lucas Schansman was born at Fort Lee, New Jersey, where his father was stationed in the 90s. He moved to Holland when he was five and spent the majority of his life there. Schansman was enrolled in school at Hogeschool van Amsterdam and was studying international business.
He still has family living in New Jersey, including his great aunt, Elizabeth VanArdenne, who is mourning the loss of her great-nephew. Both family members question what led to Flight MH17 being targeted in the first place.
"It's a horrible thing that happened to a young boy," she said. "And why? Because of power, and people fighting over it."Ronald Schansman is angry, according to NBC News, and along with his sister, they want answers.
"We want to know why," Ronald Schansman said, noting that both the separatists and Ukrainian officials have blamed each other for the missile attack that brought down the Boeing 777. "Who shot?"Quinn Lucas Schansman's cousin, Rodney Schansman lives in Georgia, and though he hadn't seen Quinn in years, said that the family had been planning a reunion in Europe.
"Who would ever believe that a disaster that far across the world would affect us here?" Rodney Schansman told NBC News. "Our prayers go out to all the families that have lost loved ones in this tragedy."Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 had 298 passengers, all confirmed killed in the senseless attack. The U.S. State Department is demanding that Russia and Ukraine work to end hostilities to avoid any further attacks on civilians. As reported this morning by Reuters, Russia agrees.
Quinn Lucas Schansman is the only American confirmed to have been killed on the tragic flight, and now his family will begin the healing process.
[Image Courtesy of Dailymail.co.uk]