Connecticut College News
Liz Durante '10 killed en route to airport for medical mission03/15/2009
Elizabeth Durante '10
The Connecticut College community suffered a heartbreaking loss in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 7.
Elizabeth Durante ´10, of West Islip, N.Y, was killed in a traffic collision on I-395 in Montville, Conn. She was part of a group of Connecticut College students traveling to Uganda on a community service trip through the Asayo Wish Foundation.
A certified Emergency Medical Technician and an aspiring doctor, Liz Durante, 20, was passionate about Africa and wrote that she aspired to "saving the world, one day at a time." She was a psychology major with a focus on pre-med, and she volunteered as an EMT for the West Islip Fire Department.
In 2007, she traveled to South Africa with the New London Collegiate Ministry to build relations between communities and visit local AIDS hospices. With her friend Stefanie Hinman ´10, she spent her 2008 spring break at an orphanage in Kaberamaido, Uganda, where she joined a group of volunteers from Vassar College to provide medical services and bring medical supplies.
This year, the two young women had organized a group from Connecticut College to return to the orphanage. The students raised money to pay their own travel expenses and to buy much-needed medical supplies.
Eight of the students were traveling in a passenger van to Logan Airport for their flight to Uganda when the van was struck by a vehicle traveling the wrong way on I-395. The driver of that vehicle was arraigned on charges that included DUI and second-degree manslaugher.
The other students were taken to area hospitals. All have been treated and released.
In a statement to the Connecticut College community, President Leo I. Higdon Jr., said, " Elizabeth was a student of enormous talent, commitment and compassion. Her passing is an incalculable loss to our community. Our deepest sympathies are with Elizabeth´s family and with her many friends on campus."
Brigid O´Gorman '11, who had planned to be part of the trip but had delayed her departure to play in the NESCAC hockey semi-finals, left for Uganda March 9. She took all of the clothing and medical supplies the group had collected over the past several months with her and saw that they got to their intended destination.
She connected in Uganda with Meredith Bosco '12, who had traveled separately to the airport and then continued on the trip with students from other colleges and with staff from the Asayo´s Wish Network. Brigid O'Gorman told President Higdon she felt strongly about making the trip and carrying out the work that Liz Durante and all of the students involved in the collision had planned for so long.