Wrong-way crash in Conn. kills student from LI
(AP) - A man driving drunk and going the wrongway with his lights off early Saturday crashed head on into a van,killing a college student who was headed to Africa on a springbreak medical aid mission, police said.
The Connecticut College student, Elizabeth Durante, 20, waspartially thrown from the van and died at the scene. The sevenother students in the van, which was driving to an airport, weretreated at local hospitals for injuries that didn't appearlife-threatening, school spokeswoman Deborah MacDonnell said.
The wrong-way driver, Daniel Musser, slammed into the van around3:45 a.m. while it was headed south on Interstate 395 in Montville,about 45 miles southeast of Hartford, police said.
Musser, of Groton, was arrested and faces charges includingmanslaughter with a motor vehicle and drunken driving, police said.The 22-year-old was being held on $100,000 bond and was scheduledto appear in Norwich Superior Court on Monday, State Police Lt. J.Paul Vance said.
A published telephone number for Musser's family couldn'timmediately be found, and it was unclear if he had an attorney.
Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. called Durante,of West Islip, "a student of enormous talent, commitment andcompassion."
"Her passing is an incalculable loss to our community," Higdonsaid in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies are with Elizabeth'sfamily and with her many friends on campus."
Durante and another student at Connecticut College, a privateNew London school with about 1,900 students, organized the trip toKaberamaido, Uganda, as part of a medical mission with Asayo's WishFoundation, a charity whose mission is to help suffering children.The group of about 12 students was going to deliver medicalsupplies and help provide basic medical care to the village'sresidents.
Durante, a certified emergency medical technician, had been on asimilar trip to South Africa in 2007, and it affected her sogreatly that she organized her first trip to the Ugandan villagelast year, according to a December 2007 story on her by thecollege's public affairs office.
In the story, Durante said she hoped to become a surgeon,"something intense enough to fulfill the EMT adrenaline-junkie Iknow will always be inside of me."
"I love the connection with other human beings that medicineoffers," Durante said. "No matter where they grew up, how oldthey are, how rich or poor - a patient is a patient."