BRIDGEPORT -- Kaitlyn Doorhy, a 20-year-old Sacred Heart University student stuck by a car on Friday, has died a hospital spokeswoman confirmed Saturday afternoon.
In a statement the hospital said, "This morning the parents of Kaityln Doorhy gave permission to St. Vincent's Medical Center to confirm their daughter had died from injuries she sustained on Friday afternoon. Her parents have agreed that her organs will be donated for transplant. Mr. Doorhy said `Kaityln is an organ donor and will help give lives to others.''"
"Our hearts grieve with the Doorhy family. There are thousands of individuals waiting for lifesaving organs or tissue", said Brooke Karlsen, Vice President, Surgical Services. "We hope it provides comfort to Kaitlyn's family and the Sacred Heart University community to know that Kaitlyn's generous gift of life will save lives."
St. Vincent's Medical Center will fly the Donate Life flag in Kaitlyn's honor.
Kaitlyn's sister also confirmed the death Saturday. "She's not with us no more," the sister, Carly Doorhy said.
In a phone interview from her Long Island home, Carly Doorhy said the family was planning to have services near their home.
SHU President John J. Petillo also announced Kaitlyn's passing Saturday afternoon. "I think it is important that we continue to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year even as we grieve for the loss of Kaitlyn. Everything I have heard about Kaitlyn--her caring for others, her dreams to be an attorney, the way she embraced life--tells me that she would expect this from us," he said.
"The Sacred Heart University community is mourning the loss of Kaitlyn Doorhy, who was a vibrant and involved student at SHU. Her organs will be used to help save the lives of others. That she is an organ donor, is in keeping with the generosity and caring of the close-knit community that makes up the fabric of Sacred Heart University. Even in her death, she is giving hope to others. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Doorhy family in this time of immeasurable loss. Petillo said.
He said counseling is available in the Wellness Center.
A Facebook page, Rest In Peace Kait Doorhy, has been created in her memory.
On Friday evening, hundreds of students packed into the chapel at Sacred Heart University to take part in a prayer service for the popular student who was seriously injured when she was stuck by a car as she crossed Madison Avenue earlier in the day.
"Tonight, we join hands and pray for a member of our family," the Rev. David Buckles told a crowd of somber students that filled the university chapel.
When asked about her daughter, her mother, Darla Doorhy said, "she is in heaven," and broke down in tears. Friends at the vigil said "she will be missed," and a number of message on Twitter remembered Doorhy. "RIP Kait Doorhy, heaven gained its most beautiful angel today," said one tweet from a fellow Sacred Heart University student.
Friends and family members described Doorhy as being similar to the lead character in the "Legally Blonde" movies, a perky blonde who aspired to be a divorce attorney. Read Full Article
"She was smart, spunky and sweet," said Christine O'Brien, 20, a housemate and friend. "She loved her labels, but she was an independent, hard worker."
Doorhy's sister, Carly Doorhy, said she was studying pre-law and drove a white Dodge Charger with the license plate "Lblonde."
Her mother, Darla Doorhy, said her daughter recently told her she got a part-time job in the school's mailroom, one of many jobs and activities she was pursuing. Her activities included membership in a sorority and another job at the Michael Kors store at the Trumbull mall.
"She said `mom it's only four hours a day and $9 an hour, but I'll be making my money,' " said Darla Doorhy proudly.
The crash was third serious accident involving a pedestrian in as many weeks in Bridgeport. All three resulted in deaths.
The accident on Friday was the only one of the three in which the driver remained at the scene and took responsibility.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't see her. I'm so sorry," said the driver, Brandon M. Pouncie, 28, of Bridgeport, sobbing. He spoke with police and family members at the scene.
Police did not immediately file charges, pending further investigation. After the police interview, Pouncie went home with his family. Pouncie, an artist, left with several of his works that police had given him from his car.
The crash occurred as hundreds of college students were moving into dorms and off-campus housing as they prepared for the start of classes.
"Sacred Heart students are the best thing to happen to this neighborhood," said Cathy Keller, who has lived on Madison Avenue near the crash scene for 20 years. "They walk through here all the time, but the cars drive too fast and there is that blind curve."
Police said Doorhy, a junior at Sacred Heart, was crossing Madison Avenue with a friend shortly before 12:30 p.m. when she was struck by a red Nissan coupe traveling north on Madison. The two friends had been walking from the driveway of a privately owned home that is rented to students.
The impact knocked the girl out of her shoes, which remained in the roadway. She slammed against the car's windshield before landing in the road. The car then careened out of control and ran into the curb on the opposite side of the street.
University security helped local police cordon off the area around the crash. They later brought a priest to the scene to speak with the girl's housemates. A number of them, dressed in identical red T-shirts and blue shorts, later stood outside the house crying. They declined to comment.
The university later released a statement saying "the thoughts and prayers of the entire Sacred Heart University community are with the student and her family."
Neighbors said the area where the crash occurred is a dangerous one for pedestrians. It is just north of a curve in the road and neighbors said the view of oncoming traffic is often blocked by cars illegally parked on the side of the road.
Relatives praised Doorhy during the service and vigil at Sacred Heart on Friday evening.
"She was the type of girl she was. She lit up a room when she walked in it," said an uncle at the service.
After the service in the chapel, the students filled the quad in the middle of the university and formed a large circle of candles.
"The flame will be a prayer that will unite all of us in hope," Buckles said.
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