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LI college student mourned, remembered

Family members and friends mourned the loss of a West Islip college student Monday, after she was killed in a head-on crash with an alleged drunken driver early Saturday. Police say 20-year-old Elizabeth

News 12 Staff

Mar 10, 2009, 12:44 AM

Updated 5,605 days ago

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Family members and friends mourned the loss of a West Islip college student Monday, after she was killed in a head-on crash with an alleged drunken driver early Saturday.
Police say 20-year-old Elizabeth Durante was on her way to Boston's Logan Airport when the van she was riding in was hit by an alleged drunken driver going the wrong way with his lights off on Interstate 395 in Montville, Conn. According to authorities, Daniel Musser, of Groton, Conn., was arrested and charged with manslaughter with a motor vehicle and drunken driving.
Former teachers, friends and classmates at Glen Cove's Friends Academy, where Durante graduated in 2006, remembered her as a true inspiration and humanitarian. Bill Morris, the headmaster, says Durante was always passionate about helping others and changing the world.
"She had this wonderful smile. She had this magnetic energy. And this passion she had for service and for making a difference, she just would infect everybody with that," Morris says.
Durante had plans to spend her spring break from Connecticut College in Uganda on a medical aid mission. She had traveled to South Africa in 2007 on a similar mission trip and was inspired to plan her own to another country in Africa. Along with a fellow student, Durante organized the trip, which would have provided a Ugandan community with much-needed medical supplies and first aid. The trip was part of Asayo's Wish Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to aiding suffering children.
While in high school and college, Durante volunteered with various organizations, including tutoring underprivileged children and building homes for those in need. She was also an outspoken member of Students Against Drunk Driving.
According to a December 2007 story on her by Connecticut College's public affairs office, Durante had dreams of becoming a surgeon - a profession Morris believes suited her desire to impact the lives of others.
"It's very hard to imagine the world without her," he says.
Durante's funeral will be held Thursday in West Islip.
AP wire services contributed to this article.
Wrong-way crash in Conn. kills student from LI


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