The University of Connecticut community is reeling after a 19-year-old sophomore was struck and killed by a campus fire truck early Sunday, reports the Hartford Courant. Jeffny Pally was sitting up against a garage bay door at a fire station on the Storrs campus around 1:15am when the door opened as fire crews responded to a call. Pally fell back and was struck by a Chevy Tahoe leaving the firehouse, state police say. Her body wasn't found until crews returned around 2:50am, reports WFSB. It's not clear why Pally was leaning against the door. The Tahoe's driver, Dana Barrow Jr., has been put on administrative duty pending an investigation. Pally's friends and family remember the nursing student as a diligent student with a bright smile and compassion for others.
Pally was a popular resident assistant at her dorm, and she chose a university close to home to be near her family in West Hartford. "She had high hopes and [was] very hardworking, very compassionate," her mother, Shiny Pally, tells WFSB. "She always put others first." Her brother, Joel Pally, tells the Courant, "We used to joke that she had friends in 50 states." UConn officials are urging students to seek out campus counseling services. "This is a heartbreaking and tragic loss," UConn President Susan Herbst says in a statement. (Read more Jeffny Pally stories.)