UConn student charged in deaths of UConn students


(Left) Ryan Meegan, 19, of Ridgefield and Alana Ferrante, 19, of South Windsor. (Photo courtesy of NBC Connecticut)

Negligent homicide is the charge for a driver in the crash that took the lives of two UConn students last September.

Hannah Marguerite Schmidt, 19, availed herself to authorities on Saturday, April 16. She was driving the car that ran a stop sign and ended in the deaths of sophomores Ryan Meegan, 19, and Alana Ferrante, 19. Meegan and Ferrante were passengers in Schmidt’s vehicle. Schmidt is a UConn student as well.

A tractor-trailer T-boned the Toyota Camry operated by Schmidt at an intersection on the right, eastbound shoulder of Route 66 in Columbia, Connecticut. The cars stopped moving when they collided with a utility pole.

Meegan and Ferrante were judged dead at the scene.

Meegan was a pre-teaching major, Ferrante a pre-kinesiology major.

The UConn Rugby Team offered kind words for Meegan after the incident, as he was a member.

“On Friday our rugby team didn’t just lose a player but a brother. It’s hard to talk about Ryan without bringing up his sense of humor and his upbeat personality,” the team said in a statement. “No matter the situation he always managed to find a way to smile and that smile was contagious. Whether we had a long fitness session or a tough loss he always knew how to lift the team’s spirit. He was a hardworking, eager, and committed player and a great friend. He was coaches’ and players’ ideal teammate ..qualities not found too often nowadays. This was an incredibly tragic accident but our team will always remember Ryan and honor his memory. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ryan’s friends and family in this difficult time.”

Alana Ferrante’s brother, Justin Ferrante, delivered a heartfelt statement of his own.

“Both of our lives were etched and fueled by one another…. I know I was a large influence in emotional and spiritual guidance as I was always the one to go against the current but she was the one that excelled with it,” Ferrante said. “She would sing and hum tunes everyday, then express herself in the most upbeat and enthusiastic way (this sometimes meant screaming that she was going to be late and can’t find what she was looking for.)…. But she was always looking out for me and motivating me to take on new hobbies and ideas. She’s the one that I look to for an opinion above all others. Whenever I had to get a new haircut or needed a new wardrobe she was the only one I trusted with the final say. I asked her opinion on almost everything that crossed my mind as if it was the only way to know for sure.”

Sten Spinella is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at sten.spinella@uconn.edu. He tweets @SSpinella927.

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