Community grieves for 4 lost in Cutchogue crash
Bright. Bubbly. Energetic. Beautiful.
Friends and relatives are still coming to terms with the devastating loss of four young women killed in a crash in Cutchogue Saturday, but as the tragic news sinks in, there has been no shortage of kind words being said about the victims.
As News 12 has reported, an alleged drunken driver smashed into a limousine as it made a U-turn after leaving a winery Saturday evening. The crash killed Brittney Schulman, 23, of Smithtown; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; and Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack. Four other women were seriously hurt.
"Brittney was a beautiful person," said Danielle Shea, Shulman's first cousin. "She was best friends with her mom. She was the best daughter and sibling to her sister and brother, and she's going to be missed." Shea said her cousin's death has rocked her family to its core.
Two of the victims, Baruch and Belli, were alumni of the business program at Farmingdale State University. The electronic sign at the campus' entrance read Monday, "Our hearts are aching."
Michelle Kriegel was Baruch's college internship advisor. They had just spoken to each other last week. Kreigel said Baruch was so bubbly, it was a no-brainer to feature her in the school's most recent marketing materials. Baruch also worked for Long Island's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"She was really great in the public relations side," said Kriegel. "I know she was considering some jobs in human resources also, but she was working in the nonprofit sector and loved doing that."
Grabina graduated from Commack High School and went on to graduate from Florida State University. She worked as an accountant in Tallahassee, Florida, according to a statement from Commack School District. A service for Grabina will be held at Guttermans in Woodbury on July 21.
Wake services will be held for Shulman at the Branch Funeral Home on East Main Street in Smithtown on July 22. Her funeral will be held on July 23 at St. Joseph's in Kings Park.
A funeral Mass will be held for Baruch at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Kings Park Wednesday morning.