A car accident early Saturday morning claimed two lives and injured three, according to the Waterbury Republican-American. One of the dead was 21-year-old Quinnipiac junior Timothy Keeley from Prospect, Conn.
Keeley was riding in a 1997 Honda Accord with driver Michael Galvin, 22, and passengers Kerri Fitzpatrick, 22, and Meghan Strathman, 21, after spending a night out with friends in New Haven. At approximately 2:30 a.m. the vehicle crashed head-on with a 1998 Ford Expedition in a 45-mph zone.
The Accord smashed into a post and wire restraints on the westbound side of Route 68 in Prospect, and the Expedition came to a stop on the center line of the road after spinning 180 degrees upon impact.
Keeley and Strathman, from Bristol, perished in the crash. The other occupants of the car, including the driver of the Expedition, 36-year-old Amanda Foley, were taken to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries. Foley has already been treated and released.
Sergeant Paul Vance discussed elements of the preliminary investigation in an article that appeared in The Republican-American newspaper.
“The initial indications Saturday make it appear the Honda may have come left of center,” he said.
Vance later added that the investigation was still in its beginning stages and that no definite reason could be given as to why the car may have strayed. State police would not say whether alcohol or excessive speed were factors in the accident.
Members of the Quinnipiac community who knew Keeley have nothing but nice things to say about him.
“I knew [Timothy] a little…we met a few times, and he seemed like the nicest, most kind kid, who anyone would want to be friends with,” said Jon Corona, a 21-year-old junior e-media major.
“I think it is sad for the entire Quinnipiac community to lose someone like this,” said freshman mass communications/political science major Jaime DeLoma. “I’m sure everyone on campus would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends.”
QUDaily reported that Keeley was a commuter student at Quinnipiac University, majoring in accounting in the School of Business. For the past three semesters, he had been on the Dean’s List. His father, John Keeley, was a QU graduate in 1958.
The online news source also received the following statement from university President John L. Lahey: “The Quinnipiac community was very saddened to learn of the death of Timothy J. Keeley…[he] was a very well-liked student whose presence on campus will be sorely missed. Our sincere condolences go out to Timothy’s family and friends.”
Bouquets of flowers and yellow ribbons have already begun to appear at the crash site in memoriam of the deceased.
Before attending Quinnipiac, Keeley had graduated from Naugatuck High School in Monroe. He also worked as a teller at Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan.
The accident occurred exactly one year to the day after Quinnipiac junior J.P. Medeiros, 20, was killed on New Road. Medeiros was a health science major from Warren, R.I., and was an Orientation Leader along with participating in numerous other projects on campus.
“The physical therapy program is like a family,” senior physical therapy major Melanie Buckland said shortly after the accident about Medeiros. “Now that he has passed away, our family will never be the same.”
The accident also marks the fourth accident to take the life of a Quinnipiac student in the past two years.
Freshman Steven Pawlowski, 18, was killed on November 10, 2001 while crossing Whitney Avenue. Junior Jessica Gambon, 21, was killed on February 8, 2002 after the car she was riding in flipped over on Sherman Avenue.
While alcohol is thought to have played a part in the three previous accidents, police have not released whether it was a factor in the death of Keeley.
Students are encouraged to contact the on-campus Counseling Services at x8680 if they need help in dealing with this tragedy. Students may also stop by the Student Affairs Center between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. For evening counseling, contact either a Resident Assistant or the Student Health Center.