Connecticut State Police said two people were killed in separate crashes during Winter Storm Ari and one of them is a recent high school graduate.
A tractor-trailer jackknifed on Route 20 in East Granby and crashed into a Jeep Cherokee. Both drivers were brought to St. Francis Hospital for treatment.
Ewa McGovern, 40, of North Granby, died as a result of the crash.
In another crash, police said 18-year-old Katelin Walker was traveling on Clubhouse Road in Lebanon around noon, just as the nor'easter was ramping up across Connecticut. Walker, who is a recent graduate of Lyman Memorial High School, lost control and crashed into a tree, police said.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to friends, Walker was a photographer, artist and musician and was headed to Lyman Memorial High School to pick up her boyfriend when the crash occurred.
"Its tough, but we have to fight through it. It's all we can really do is fight," said friend Zach Simoneau. "Whoever you talk to is going to tell you she was a good person. Always nice to be around, she had a great smile."
People are looking into developing an art scholarship in Walker's name. There are also plans for a benefit concert and art show of her photographs to raise the money.
"She was an amazing photographer, I don't think I've seen a better photographer out there, she just had so much creativity in her pictures," said senior Tori Abate. "And just the images she took just had so much depth to them. So she left a huge mark with that."
Grief counselors were made available to students at Lebanon high and middle schools Thursday because Walker still has two younger brothers in the school system.
State police are looking into weather as a factor, but they said it is too early to say whether it definitely caused both deaths.
Anyone who may have seen Lebanon crash is asked to call state police at 860-896-3200 or 800-968-0664 for information on the East Granby crash.
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