Pierre-André Salim DRA ’09 dies while setting up for production

Updated Tuesday 1:25 p.m. A second-year graduate student at the Yale School of Drama was killed Sunday morning in an accident at the Yale Repertory Theatre, University officials said.

Pierre-André Salim DRA ’09, of Jakarta, Indonesia, was injured while unloading materials for an upcoming production from a truck outside the theater, University Spokesman Tom Conroy said. The accident occurred at 8:51 a.m., police said, and Salim was later pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Pierre-André Salim DRA ’09 died Sunday morning following an accident at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The Jakarta, Indonesia native was injured while unloading materials for an upcoming production from a truck outside the theater.
Pierre-André Salim DRA ’09 died Sunday morning following an accident at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The Jakarta, Indonesia native was injured while unloading materials for an upcoming production from a truck outside the theater.

Salim, 26, was helping to remove several large sheets of particleboard from back of the tractor-trailer truck when the truck’s load shifted, said Robert W. Kowalski, area director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The sheets of particleboard, which were propped up against one wall of the trailer, fell on Salim and pinned him against the other wall of the truck, Kowalski said.

A medical examiner ruled Monday that Salim died of massive head injuries caused by the accident.

In response to the accident, the Drama School delayed the opening of the play for which Salim was helping prepare and scheduled a memorial for Tuesday evening in the University Theatre. Salim’s death was a devastating loss for the Drama School community, Drama School Dean James Bundy said in a prepared statement.

“Pierre very quickly established himself in the School of Drama as a student with tremendous professional promise and skill, unbridled enthusiasm for the art of the theatre, and a generous collaborative spirit that made him dear to his teachers, the staff, and his fellow students,” Bundy said. “To see the tragic passing of a young man of such obvious gifts fills our community with deep sadness — our hearts go out to his family.”

Salim was helping to prepare for the Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Molière’s “Tartuffe” when the accident occurred, the Theatre said. On his Facebook profile, Salim wrote on Saturday that he was “almost ready to load-in,” the theatrical term for moving the set and props for a production into the theater.

The play was scheduled to open Nov. 26. It will now begin Dec. 3, with opening night scheduled for Dec. 6, the Theatre announced Monday.

“We are delaying performances in part to give our community time to come together in support of Pierre’s family, friends and colleagues, and begin to heal,” Bundy said in a news release. He declined to be interviewed this week.

On Sunday, Bundy and members of the Drama School gathered to mourn the loss of the student and lend support to one other, Conroy said. A private memorial service for Salim’s family and members of the Drama School community was scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday in the University Theatre, David Mayhew, a spokesman for the Drama School said.

Salim, the son of Dr. Sidharta Salim and Li Ling Tjoe of Jakarta, Indonesia, was to receive his Master’s Degree in Technical Design and Production in 2009. He graduated the National University of Singapore in 2002 with a degree in computer science and moved to New Haven last year to attend the Drama School.

Salim was born in Strasbourg, France, on Sept. 17, 1981, and was raised in Jakarta. He found his love for theater while in college, working as a crew member for productions at the University Cultural Centre and in his residence hall at the National University of Singapore.

After graduating, Salim remained in Singapore and worked as a production crew member and stage manager for several Singapore theater companies, including Checkpoint Theatre, Wild Rice, Theatre Practice and Toy Factory.

“Pierre was a pivotal figure in the Singapore scene,” said Huzir Sulaiman, Joint Artistic Director of Singapore’s Checkpoint Theatre, in a statement released by the Yale Rep. “So many of us worked with him, and all of us loved him for his professionalism, his kindness, and his good humor. His death has left the whole community in shock.”

Salim is survived by his parents; a brother, Michel Alexandre Salim, 27, a doctoral student at Indiana University; and a sister, Adeline Salim, 21, a medical student at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom; and his maternal grandmother, Pat Lee Pin.

“I will always cherish the memories of growing up with Pierre,” Michel said in a statement released by the Rep. “He was a natural organizer, dating back to being class treasurer in secondary school, and took to theatre production naturally. It is a tragedy that he died at so tender an age, but we can say that he has led a bountiful life, and he shall live on in our memories.”

The New Haven Police Department is investigating the accident, police said. OSHA determined it did not have jurisdiction to investigate the accident because it did not involve an employer-employee relationship, Kowalski said, and the Yale Police Department declined to comment on the incident. The accident occurred near the corner of Chapel and York streets, police said, which gives the NHPD authority over the case.

Salim’s cause of death was determined to be cranium cerebral trauma, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Monday. It was ruled to be an accidental death, the spokesman said.

The Yale Rep will contact ticket holders for the cancelled Nov. 26 to Dec. 1 performances, the Theatre said in a news release. Ticket holders can also contact the Theatre’s box office.

In lieu of flowers, family members have asked that donations in Salim’s memory be made to UNICEF, c/o UNICEF/USA, 333 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    I have scheduled an observance across the entertainment industry for 9 AM Eastern Time today(19, November 2007)

  • Anonymous

    My prayers are with his family

  • Anonymous

    My thoughts are with you all at this sad moment.

  • Anonymous

    My thoughts and prayers are with all his colleaques in the Drama School as well as his devestated family.

  • Anonymous

    Rest in peace, Pierre

  • Anonymous

    This is so sad. An almost unbearable pain for family and friends. My heart aches for them.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Pierre - may you be surrounded by the food of your youth, the love of your family, and the prayers of your friends. You have touched many lives. May your soul rest in peace.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Pierre, thank you for many years of fond memories. Rest well, my friend. You are missed.

  • Anonymous

    Rest in peace, my friend. Thank you for touching my life.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Pierre,

    Rest in peace. I will miss u always…

  • Anonymous

    may u rest in peace….gonna miss u!!

  • Anonymous

    May you rest in peace Pierre.

    We would always remember you and pray the very best for your family.

    Member of Karunia '99

  • Anonymous

    My prayers are with his family and friends.
    May you rest in peace.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Pierre,

    May you rest in peace, we all will miss you, our prayers and thought are with your family. You were a loyal customer, good friends and for me, as a fellow Indonesian, you were an idol for other Indonesian to look up to. May all your hard effort in school be known and acknowledge back in our home country of Indonesia. I will send your favorite " spicy wok basil" right up to heaven. We will miss you deeply….From all of us at York St Noodle House, New Haven.

    For Pierre Family: " Semoga Tuhan membuka pintu surga bagi Almarhum Pierre. Dia adalah murid yang sangat tekun belajar, selalu sibuk membaca walaupun sedang menikmati mie di warung kami, persis di depan Theater. Kami sangat yakin dia akan mendapatkan tempat yang layak disisinya. Indonesia sangat kehilangan salah satu putra bangsa yang cemerlang.

    Soraya, owner of York St Noodle House.

  • Anonymous

    Rest in peace pierre. i really miss u.
    thank u for great memories that we shared together.
    i never forget you

  • Anonymous

    rest in peace pierre. gonna miss u.
    thank u for everything you've done to me.
    you're such a very good friend

  • Anonymous

    God be with you till we meet again

  • Anonymous

    God's peace to you and to your family.

  • Anonymous

    Pierre, your passing causes too much grieve for me, our friendship was very special, this devastated feeling of the permanent loss of a young friend whom I have grew to admire and trust is soemthing very painful to face. May you rest in eternal peace, condolences to your family. Singapore Theatre shall miss you.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Pierre,
    We all will miss you. I still remember every moment we share in school. We keep sharing alot of memories afterward back you're in Singapore too. May you rest in peace eternally. Condolences to Salim family.

    EK - your chair-mate in highschool

  • Anonymous

    I did not have the honor of knowing Pierre, but as a fellow technician in the theatre industry my heart goes out to everyone who does, family friends and thesbians alike. It's terrible terrible loss and I just wanted to let everyone know that thesbians near and far are thinking of you in this hard time. Are hearts all ache along with yours. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Anonymous

    Pierre worked at the Santa Fe Opers this past summer and I had the pleasure of getting to meet him and see him work. He was always so friendly, nice, had a smile on, and was very helpful. He even won an award for being such a great apprentice. May he rest in peace.

  • Anonymous

    Kami turut berduka cita atas meninggalnya Andre ,semoga Tuhan mengampuni segala dosanya dan menerima disisiNYA.
    Bagi keluarga yang ditinggalkan, semoga dapat menerima kejadian ini dengan tabah dan penuh kesabaran.
    "RancanganNYA bukan rancangan kita dan waktuNYA bukan waktu kita, tapi IA akan memberi yang terbaik untuk kita"….selamat jalan Andre.

    Kel.Larmi-Jane-Frank Tasada

  • Anonymous

    Kepada keluarga dr.Sidharta Salim kami ucapkan belasungkawa yang paling dalam,semoga Andre diberi tempat yang layak disisi Bapak di surga,semoga dosa2nya diampunin dan semoga keluarga yang ditinggal diberi kekuatan.
    Dari kel.Tjia

  • Anonymous

    God's peace to you and to your family!

  • Anonymous

    Dearest Pierre,

    May you rest in peace, we all will miss u.

    Member of Karunia 99

  • Anonymous

    YSD & YRT miss you terribly.

  • Anonymous

    We are really sorry to hear about Pierre-Andre. May his soul rests in peace.

    For family members of Andre (Dr. Sidharta, Tante Liling, Michel, and Adeline), may God guides and accompanies all of you through this hard time. Our thoughts, prayers, and sympathy go to you.

    JOHAR family
    (Dr. Johar, Ester, Jane, Sonja, dan Jeff)

  • Anonymous

    We are bereaved at the loss of a talented and prominent figure in Singapore theatre.
    His presence has brought about much admiration and respect to the local arts community.
    A real dedicated and professional colleague, he not only showed humility and sincerity to the very craft he calls close to his heart.
    He will be missed and always remembered as the "French man" that trawls the back stages of our venue.

    Rest in peace, Abang Pierre.

    Tech Crew - NUS UCC

  • Anonymous

    i am so sorry,that is so terrible.i will light a candle for him.Good Lord have mercy
    -

    a local guy

  • Anonymous

    Pierre, it's really hard for me to hear the news. You're such a kind-hearted, warm person to be with. I'll never forget the highschool days spent with you,your history notes,your passion,your willngness to help everyone in the class. Always miss you now that everytime I see my NIV Bible as a sweet 17th bday gift from you.Glad that the shamisen instrument I sent you last year was a hit.
    Rest till we meet again.

    Windy

  • Anonymous

    That`s hard to know that you were not with us anymore. and that make me feel very sad. you such a kind heart and nice person I`ve ever meet and know. Have a rest friend, we will meet again in a nice place that Jesus has promise
    Nat

  • Anonymous

    Last time I meet Pierre was back in 2004 but i've known him my whole life. Pierre was my preschool sweetheart whom I shared my child magazine, "Bobo", with. And he shared his "Donal Bebek" magazine and "Dinosaur" encyclopedia. My heart broke as I heard the news. May your beautiful soul rest in peace, Pierre.

    Adel - Karunia 99

  • Anonymous

    Turut berduka cita yang sedalam-dalamnya atas meninggalnya Pierre Andre Salim.
    Dari: Keluarga dr. Gunawan Darmansjah SpAn

  • Anonymous

    Pierre, I'm really shocked hearing the news. Last time I saw you was in S'pore when we're having dinner together.
    You're the best friend I've ever known.
    I'll never forget you ….

    Rest in Peace My Friend

    -ciut-

  • Anonymous

    Our deepest condolences to Salim family. Rest in peace, Pierre.

    From: Pangestu family, Jakarta

  • Anonymous

    This is a heartbreak for anyone who reads it, but for theatre technicians I believe it is a special loss. We've all put ourselves in that same position of potential harm in support of art's creation. Theatre's magic has lost a bit of its glimmer with the loss of one of its own. My prayers are with Pierre's family and friends.

  • Anonymous

    My deepest condolences to the Sidharta family. May God give you the strength during these difficult time and my prayers will always be with you.

    Dr.Liem Kian Hong, Jakarta - Indonesia.

  • Anonymous

    May God's love bind together this young man's family and keep them strong through this loss.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  • Anonymous

    I was shocked when I found out about the news. Still can't believe that this is true. Andre was a very nice, smart & talented young man. He was still young and full of passion in music & theatre.

    May you rest in peace, Andre. I believe that you are now sitting next to our Father in Heaven. Condolences to om & tante Sidharta Salim, Michel & Adeline.

    Lidya Yosye
    Jakarta

  • Anonymous

    Our deepest condolences to om & tante Sidharta Salim, Michel & Adeline.

    Chrisanti & Eliani GUNAWAN

  • Anonymous

    Our deepest condolences to Dr. Sidharta and family on your loss of your loved one. We are very saddened to learn about Piere-Andre. Our thought and prayer are with you and family at this difficult time. May his memories live on in your heart.
    The Halim and The Feng Family - New York City

  • Anonymous

    i'm really sorry to hear the news, altough i only know pierre from kompas's obituary, but i feel sad too. may your soul rest in peace.
    my deepest condolences to pierre's family.