A UConn student died after she was hit by a university fire department vehicle early Sunday morning and police said officials from the fire department found her an hour and a half after she was hit.
Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford, was sitting on the ground with her back against a garage bay door at the UConn Public Safety Complex at 126 North Eagleville Road in Storrs when the fire department received a call for service around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, according to police.
When the bay door Pally was leaning against opened, she fell back onto the ground and a fire department Chevy Tahoe leaving the bay drove over Pally, according to police.
Crews from the fire department found Pally around an hour and a half later, when they returned from that call and state police said they were called at 2:48 a.m.
The shift commander who was driving the vehicle has been placed on administrative duty and will not respond to calls while the incident is investigated.
UConn is assisting state police in their investigation, according to university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
"Every student is precious to us, and this is a heartbreaking and tragic loss," Conn President Susan Herbst said in a statement released Sunday. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and all those whose lives she's touched. We know that words cannot begin to express their grief."
The school is encouraging students to use the campus counseling and mental health services if they need support.
"This is such a terrible thing," Calvin Saxton said. "It's so hard to comprehend, actually."
Jeffny was a sophomore majoring in allied health and aspired to be a nurse, according to the university.
The cause of her death was determined to be blunt injuries to the torso and head and it was ruled an accident.
"I'm still in shock. Like, I feel like I'm still going to see her walking to class," said Jenny Patel, a UConn sophomore.
Jeffny worked as a resident assistant and was joining a sorority.
A vigil will be held on Fairfield Way on campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Pally grew up in West Hartford and attended Hall High School. The school is also offering grief counselors today.
Anyone who witnessed the accident or has knowledge of Pally’s activities prior to the accident is asked to call Trooper Mark Dicocco at 203-630-8079.