Sunday, October 16, 2016

UConn Student Leaning on Firehouse Door Crushed to Death By Campus Fire Truck when it left the driveway to respond to the scene.

UConn Student From West Hartford Fatally Struck By Campus Fire Truck

A look at the outside of the building where police say UConn student Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford, died early Sunday when she was struck by a fire truck. (Kathleen McWilliams)
Kathleen McWilliams

A student was killed after being struck by a UConn Fire Department vehicle early Sunday morning, state police said.

Trooper Kelly Grant identified the victim as Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford.

Grant said the female victim was seated with her back against the exterior door to Bay 7 at the UConn Fire Department. At 1:13 a.m. the department was called to a scene at 100 North Eagleville road and shift commander, Dana E. Barrow Jr., 60, prepared to respond to the incident. The door to the bay, which Pally was leaning on, mechanically opened so the fire vehicle could get to the scene.

Grant said Pally fell back when the door was lifted and was fatally struck by the fire truck when it left the driveway to respond to the scene.

Barrow has been placed on an administrative duty position as the investigation continues, Grant said.

"Every student is precious to us, and this is a heartbreaking and tragic loss," UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and all those whose lives she touched. We know that words cannot begin to express their grief."

The school is encouraging students to seek support through its Counseling & Mental Health Services.

"I am just distraught and saddened by the loss of this remarkable young woman," said West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, whose youngest son was friends with Pally.

Cantor said Pally was the youngest of three siblings to attend Hall High School in West Hartford, where she was "a really good math student" and an athlete. Hall will have extra counselors on hand Monday morning to help greiving students.

"She was such a nice, sweet person," said Kristen Jenkins, a classmate. "I didn't know her well, but she always seemed like she cared a lot about other people and was really involved on campus."

UConn Police responded to the scene but by request of the State's Attorney Office and UConn officials, Troop C and the State Police Crash Analysis Reconstruction Squad will handle the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Trooper Mark DiCocco at 203-630-8079 or at