A Waterbury teacher died after being injured in a hit-and-run boating crash in New Fairfield on Tuesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, officials from the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection said 38-year-old Wanda Tirado, of Waterbury, died after the crash on Candlewood Lake.
Saint Mary School in Waterbury said Tirado was a teacher at the school.
Officials from the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection said she was found in the water by a passing boater on Tuesday afternoon.
She was taken to the hospital where she died.
The evading boater allegedly involved in the crash was identified as Gary Morrone, 65, of Oakville.
Tirado was a swimmer from that boat.
Morrone was arrested and charged with reckless operations of a vessel, failure to help collision victim, and failure to notify law enforcement of injury.
The crash remains under investigation.
A vigil was held in Tirado's honor on the steps of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday evening.
"everyone is pinching themselves right now, wondering if this is real," said Jonathan DeRosa, St. Mary's Principal.
DeRosa is tasked with helping Tirado's students cope.
"We know this doesn't make sense right now, Miss Tirado loved them very much and we are all in this together," said DeRosa.
Tirado's death impacts the entire St. Mary's community. Colleagues, students, and parents attended the prayer service where they could all mourn together, under one roof.
"It's the only thing you can do in this kind of grief. Hold on with all your might, hold onto each other, hold on to your faith," said Christopher Ford, Rector of Immaculate Conception.
While the pain is still fresh, school leaders are now forced to look ahead to next schools year.
They said Tirado was going to play a huge role next school year as St. Mary's merged with Blessed Sacrament.
"Community was something that was really important to her and she wanted to bring that aspect to the school," DeRosa said.
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