A Waterbury school community is mourning the death of one of their teachers after a boating accident in New Fairfield.
Wanda Tirado, a mother of two and a teacher at St. Mary’s School, was described as a shining light in her school community.
Tirado suffered fatal injuries Tuesday when she was struck by an alleged hit-and-run boater while she was swimming in Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield.
On Wednesday the St. Mary’s community gathered at the Basilica of The Immaculate Conception to hold a prayer service for Tirado.
“The last day has just been sad,” said St. Mary’s School Principal Jonathan DeRosa. “I think everyone is sort of pinching themselves right now wondering if this is real.”
Many who knew and loved Tirado came together to pray in her memory hours after her death.
“She was the energy of our school, honestly. No matter what was going on, she came there with a smile,” DeRosa said.
The rector of the parish where Tirado taught said the community is struggling to make sense of her death and relying on each other in their time of grief.
“You just got to hold on. There’s nothing else you can do. But through love, through our relationships, that’s where we experience the healing,” said Father Christopher of the Basilica of The Immaculate Conception.
Police arrested 65-year-old Gary Morrone in connection with the deadly incident. Right now, a lot of people said they don’t understand why Tirado was taken away, but they’re helping each other to remember her life and get through this time of tragedy.
“We know that this doesn’t make sense right now, but that Ms. Tirado loved them all very much and that we’re all in this together and that we as a community are gonna support each other and get each other’s backs,” DeRosa said.
Morrone was released on a $10,000 bond. He is due in court on July 3. Information on funeral arrangements for Wanda Tirado has not yet been released.