STORRS -- A University of Connecticut student died after being struck by a fire department SUV in an accident on campus Sunday morning.
State police said Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford was sitting with her back against an overhead garage door outside the Public Safety complex. Firefighters received a call for service at 1:13 a.m. and the Department Shift Commander, Dana Barrow, Jr. 60, opened the door in order to exit the building and drive out in a UConn Fire Department Chevy Tahoe. Police said Pally fell back and the Tahoe drove over her. When the firefighters returned from the call, they found the student dead.
The firefighter has been placed in an administrative duty position and will not respond to calls as the incident is investigated according to state police.
"Every student is precious to us, and this is a heartbreaking and tragic loss. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and all those whose lives she touched. We know that words cannot begin to express their grief," UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement.
The Public Safety Complex is located on the northwest side of campus and also houses the UConn police department.
A fellow sophomore, Kadeem Richards, said the sudden passing has him appreciating life.
"Reflect on your life and appreciate the life that you have," Richards said.
Other students are also feeling her loss.
"It's always like terrible to hear someone on campus died cause like you don't expect it, and everyone is like young and healthy usually so it's kind of like heart breaking," said Aishwarya Mogulothu, a sophomore.
At the request of the State's Attorney Office and the UConn police chief, troopers from Troop C-Mansfield and the Connecticut State Police Crash Analysis Reconstruction Squad (CARS) responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.
Check back for further details as they develop.