One year ago yesterday, University of Connecticut sophomore Jeffny Pally died when she was run over by a fire truck after passing out in front of the fire station door.
At approximately 1:13 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2016, Pally was killed by an SUV leaving the fire station to respond to a false alarm on North Eagleville Road.
Following her death, hundreds of students gathered for a vigil organized by the Indian Student Association, Pally’s sorority, Delta Gamma and Delta Epsilon Phi to celebrate the life of their peer and friend with Pally’s family.
The resulting investigation found that Pally had been working on a Delta Gamma homecoming float before going to a party hosted by the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Addie Lotito, SUBOG’s major weekends chair, said these findings were not related to why there were no floats in the homecoming parade this year.
“The lack of floats this year (stemmed) from an attempt to show solidarity, unity and inclusivity,” Lotito said. “In the past, the Greek teams are on the floats and the other students are marching. (Myself and the homecoming chairs) decided that we would prefer to all march together.”
In February, six members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity were arrested for providing Pally, who was 19, alcohol.
Pally’s blood alcohol content was .25 at the time of her death.
Following these arrests, the rock by the North Garage was painted with the words “Frat Lives Matter.”
This controversial take on the “Black Lives Matter” movement’s slogan was met with criticism from students and the university.
The UConn Interfraternity Council responded in a Facebook post condemning the action as “inappropriate” and said it does not represent the values of UConn fraternity members.
The rock was soon repainted to read: “#We are UConn.”
The six students who were arrested were granted a special probation in June.
They will be able to avoid jail time and have their criminal record wiped clean if they successfully complete the program which requires them to complete acts of charity over a two-year span.
The program is designed for non-violent first-time offenders who are deemed unlikely to commit another crime.
In March, Kappa Sigma was permanently expelled from the university and Delta Gamma’s charter was suspended due to their association with Pally’s death.
In early February, Pally’s family filed a lawsuit against Dana E. Barrow Jr., the firefighter who was driving the vehicle that killed their daughter.
The suit alleged that Barrow operated the vehicle “in a reckless, willful and wanton manner, and in a manner that showed reckless and malicious disregard for the safety of other persons.”
Investigators determined that Barrow could not have seen Pally based on where she was positioned, according to the Hartford Courant.
Barrow said he assumed he had run over a piece of equipment that had been left on the ground.
Pally’s parents also included the university in its suit and attempted to prevent the Hartford Courant from gaining access to the video of Pally’s death, which was captured on a camera outside the fire station.
When the university refused to release the video, the Courant appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission and was granted the right to access the video in June.
The Courant proceeded to release the video, with portions omitted or pixilated to maintain the privacy of Pally and her family. The video does not show the actual moment when Pally is killed.
The video revealed that Barrow stopped the vehicle when he felt something under the car before proceeding to run over Pally.
Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @ZarraAnna.