CONWAY — When Andrea Barbera heard that one of her classmates was killed by a vehicle on S.C. 544 near campus, it brought back painful memories.
Just last summer, one of her friends died after being hit by a car near Hofstra University in New York.
They were both just walking across the street thinking it was a safe route, but there wasnt a proper [walkway], she said.
Barbera worked with CCU staff to organize a vigil held Monday night on campus to honor the memory of two CCU freshman killed last week, according to officials.
Allie Blair said she only became close with Michael Spade, who died in an apparent suicide, within the week before he died.
You didnt need to know him for more than a day [to like him]. He was just so open and friendly and warm, she said.
About 100 people, mostly students, gathered in Spadoni Park at the Bell Tower to share memories and words of support. The event occurred at the beginning of National Suicide Prevention week and staff from the schools counseling services department distributed informational pamphlets to the crowd.
Freshman Elizabeth Gorshack was killed early Friday when she was struck by a car whose driver fled the scene, at about 12:18 a.m., but was later found and arrested, police said. She was struck killed while crossing S.C. 544.
School officials said they have been working to make sure that students are able to cross S.C. 544 safely for years, noting that many students live in the various apartment complexes and homes across the street from campus.
I know there are conversations to work to see what we can do, but 544 is not managed or owned by the university so it has to be a collaborative effort between many entities, said Travis Overton, dean of students. Hopefully well be able to get some definitive direction on whats happening there soon.
Overton said the school plans to continue to educate students about being on the roads at night and paying attention to where the traffic is going.
Terri DeCenzo, wife of CCU President David A. DeCenzo, said that as a parent of four children three in college her heart broke at the news of the two students deaths.
Theres a purpose for everything under the heavens, and this is a time to grieve, she said, barely able to fight back tears.
Gorshack, from Warwick, N.Y., died from head trauma after she was struck by a 2006 Toyota that was traveling west on S.C. 544 near Ace University Bookstore at shortly after midnight on Friday, according to S.C. Highway Patrol.
The cars driver Julian Delvasto, was uninjured in the accident, according to police. He is charged with reckless homicide.
The S.C. Highway Patrols Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team is investigating the crash.
Gorshack had recently graduated from S.S. Seward Institute, where she had excelled as a softball player for the school.
According to a check with the State Law Enforcement Division, Delvasto has no prior criminal record in South Carolina.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 and TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.