UConn, Ridgefield schools offer grief counselors following deadl - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn, Ridgefield schools offer grief counselors following deadly Columbia crash

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Ryan Meegan and Alana Ferrante. (UConn/iWitness/Facebook photos) Ryan Meegan and Alana Ferrante. (UConn/iWitness/Facebook photos)
The crash closed Route 66 in Columbia. (iWitness photo) The crash closed Route 66 in Columbia. (iWitness photo)

Grief counselors were available on Monday for students at the University of Connecticut following the deaths of two classmates.

UConn said Alana Ferrante and Ryan Meegan were killed following a serious crash on Route 66 in Columbia Friday night.

A third student, Hannah Schmidt, was seriously hurt. Police said she was the driver.

"Alana Ferrante and Ryan Meegan, both of whom were sophomores, epitomized the very best of UConn," the school said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies go out to their friends and families. We hope they receive a measure of comfort in knowing Ryan and Alana were held in the highest regard by all who knew them here on campus."

Ferrante was a pre-kinesiology major. Meegan was a pre-teaching major, and was on the Rugby team, which said in a statement "A bright, talented, and hardworking young man who could make anyone smile. It's hard to believe you were taken from us this soon, you will be missed."

The school declined to release details about Schmidt, citing privacy concerns.

"A team of professionals from throughout the University are discussing ways to help our students, faculty and staff, and others in whatever ways may be necessary," the statement continued.

Ridgefield Public Schools Superintendent Karen Baldwin said services would be available for students there as well. Meegan graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2014.

"The high school has grief counselors available to students as well as comfort dogs to provide help and support to all those who may be in need of assistance," Baldwin said. "We will continue to provide counseling support to aid children, faculty and families during this most difficult time."

Students at UConn said they found out about the crash via social media and an email sent out by the university.

"It was very saddening," said UConn senior Rutvi Shah.

"It's kind of scary sometimes because that could be one of my friends, that could be me, so just to think about that and the loss certain people on this campus are going through because they did know them," said UConn senior Katie Blouin. 

The vehicle with Ferrante, Meegan and Schmidt was struck by a tractor-trailer as Schmidt drove into an intersection.

The driver of the tractor trailer was hospitalized with minor injuries.

The investigation into how the crash happened remains under investigation.

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