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UI freshman dies in weekend crash

BY ELDON GIANNAKOUROS | MARCH 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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University of Iowa freshman Ahsim Ahmed died in a head-on collision with another vehicle on March 17 while visiting family and friends in his hometown of Eagan, Minn.

Eagan police declined to comment on the exact circumstances of the crash, only confirming Ahmed and 42-year-old Kelly Kristiansen — the driver of the other vehicle — were the only casualties.

There were no passengers in either car.

Ahmed graduated from Eagan High School with honors in 2011. Principal Polly Reikowski said Ahmed participated in few extracurricular activities, but he was an enthusiastic member of the school's Lincoln-Douglas debate team.

"He was a very bright kid," she said. "An honors student and the pride of his family, no doubt about it."

Ahmed came to the University of Iowa to pursue a career in dentistry, and his Rienow hall floormates said he always struck them as a straight-laced, highly motivated student.

"He was the nicest kid I've ever met. He didn't drink — he didn't do anything like that that," said UI student Robbie Sakas, a friend. "He had high aspirations; he wanted to be a dentist. He was so kind."
Dentristy was the easy answer — the one he gave most of his friends and floormates — roommate Gregory Freebeck got to know Ahmed well enough to uncover the true passions within the soft-spoken 18-year old.

"Music. That was his huge passion, he was so driven for success," Freebeck said.

Freebeck chose to become Ahmed's roommate after discovering their shared passion for music.

Ahmed often invited local hip-hop artists up to his room, where he had set up a makeshift recording studio to capture and remaster their songs. He believed the tracks he mixed would someday lead to a better life for himself, his friends, and his family, Freebeck said.

"Everything he would say was 'When I'm famous,' 'When we're famous,' 'When I'm famous I'll finally pay my parents back,' he said. "I feel like with all that's happened, he finally is famous."

While at the UI, Ahmed also lent the video and audio editing skills he'd developed as a dorm-room musician to the UI College of Law's video department.

"He was a wonderful addition to the video department," the College of Law wrote in a post on their website. "He provided a level of knowledge seemingly beyond his young age … he will be deeply missed."

Funeral services were held directly after the release of Ahmed's body, keeping with the wishes of his family, Reikowski said.

"It's unbelievable that he's gone — we're all going to miss him," Freebeck said.


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