Vigil held at UConn to mourn loss of Jeffny Pally

19-year-old Jeffny Pally was a sophomore at the University of Connecticut (File)

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Across the University of Connecticut’s campus Tuesday, the community mourned the loss of Jeffny Pally. She was the 19-year-old UConn student who was struck and killed by a campus fire department vehicle.

Painted by the hands of friends, a stone memorial stands on UConn’s campus in honor of Pally. The bottom of the large flat stone is lined with flowers and a pair of wings spans the rock along with Jeffny’s name. The back of the stone reads, ‘Heaven Gained an Angel.’

“I know one of my friends is close to her and she’s really dealing with it right now,” said Arnell Lee. “We are all trying to be really supportive.”

Preps were underway for a vigil Tuesday on campus to remember a young woman on the go. Pally’s mother, Shiny Chemmarappally, says Jeffny loved her family and friends, her church, and her work with the special Olympics.

“I used to tell her, “‘Jeffny you have to take a break,” said Shiny Chemmarappally. “‘She said, ‘Mamma, I have no time. I have to do it all.'”

There are questions about what happened the night Jeffny died. Her mother says she and her husband talked to Jeffny Saturday night. Then Pally snapchatted with a cousin at 12:30. By 1:15 in the morning state police say she was struck and killed by a campus fire department SUV. The accident report says Pally was sitting against a back bay door of the public safety complex when there was a call for service. As the door went up, authorities say Pally fell back and was run over by a Tahoe leaving on a call. She wasn’t found until the Tahoe returned. Friends and family question what happened.

“The truth may be ugly,” said Chemmarappally. “I don’t care. But I just want to know the truth.”

For today, family and friends are focused on saying goodbye. They remembered a young life who touched so many; a high school athlete, a church volunteer. The crowd so thick with mourners one student passed out. It was a night of looking for answers as much as it was about morning. Anjali Gandhi found out about her friends death through social media.

“Shock honestly and then when I read the article saying how it happened I just couldn’t believe it,” said Gandhi.

Amongst the thousand plus people who turned out for the vigil, the Pally family was sitting right up front talking about their daughter Jeffny.

A wake for Jeffny will be held at the Church of Timothy at 1116 N. Main Street in West Hartford from 6-9 on Wednesday. The funeral will also be held at the Church of St. Timothy on Thursday at 10 a.m.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s