A 17-year-old girl is dead while a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured after police said they were struck by a motor vehicle on a busy stretch of road in Danbury on Thursday evening.
Officers were called to a report of a vehicle hitting two pedestrians in the area of Lake Avenue just before 9:30 p.m. Eyewitnesses said there were dozens of people in the area ready to watch the city's annual Fourth of July celebration fireworks.
Upon arrival, police said they determined that a 2007 Hyundai Elantra being driven by a Brookfield resident 23-year-old Kristia Consalva hit the two teens while they were crossing Lake Avenue from the Stop & Shop parking lot to the Stanziatos Wood Fried Pizza.
The teens were rushed to Danbury Hospital where police said Rebecca Draper Townsend, of Brookfield, died a short time later. Police said her classmate Benjamin Arne, of New Fairfield, is in serious, but stable condition.
There is no crosswalk for the teens to access in the area of the Thursday night's crash.
"Once the fireworks came up, there was no attention on them because everyone had their eyes on a different set of fireworks," eyewitness Avedi Rugova said.
It's still unclear if they were trying to cross the street, or if they were just staying to the side. However, the crash remains under investigation by the Danbury Police Department Traffic Unit.
Tearful messages from Immaculate High classmates have been pouring in for Townsend over social media. Townsend was a brilliant student, graduating in the top of her class and founded the nonprofit called She's the first. It helped girls in foreign countries become the first in their families to graduate school.
Family told Eyewitness News she was looking forward to attending Notre Dame in the fall.
"Rebecca was the kind of child every parent hopes their own becomes and the type of student that every principal is proud to have as part of their school,” Immaculate High Principal Joe Carmen said in a statement on Friday.
Consalva is cooperating with police. She hasn't been charged yet.
Anyone with any information about the crash is asked to call police at 203-797-2156.
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