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Memorial to Be Announced After Freshman’s Death

By Melissa Traynor

Following the death of Viviana R. Cavalli, CCSU’13, who died in a car crash in Shelton on Nov. 20, plans will be announced soon to hold a memorial at CCSU.

According to an email by Interim VP of Student Affairs Dr. Laura Tordenti, the university would like to include Cavalli’s parents if possible in a memorial ceremony.

Cavalli was a student in the School of Business and a Vance Hall resident.

The Hartford Courant reported the crash that claimed the lives of Cavalli and her boyfriend Lawrence J. Morra, 19, was the first of two deadly car accidents that weekend on Rte. 8 in Connecticut. Another passenger, Kassandra Dimas, 18, survived the crash.

One of her friends since high school and Vance Hall neighbor Marissa Brighindi, CCSU ’13, said that Cavalli speculated that the driver was speeding and lost control of the car, which caused a series of collisions during the accident.

“They were coming off the highway exit and they were bringing my other friend home. They were going really fast – they say it was probably about 95 [miles per hour],” she said.

According to the Connecticut Post, Shelton police said they are investigating the speed as a factor in the accident and that toxicology reports aren’t expected back for another five weeks.

Brighindi said Cavalli would have been a marketing major at CCSU.

“She was a really nice person and really friendly. Everyone always refers to her as the sweetheart just because she was so nice and she was just very warm to everybody,” Brighindi said.

She also said that many friends and family gathered to mourn Cavalli and Morra the day following the accident on Nov. 21, and that the hours of Cavalli’s wake on Nov. 24 at the Riverview Funeral Home in Shelton were extended to accommodate more visitors than expected.

The last time Brighindi saw Cavalli was at breakfast a few weekends ago in Memorial Hall, but she hasn’t had many opportunities to spend time with Cavalli this first semester at CCSU. Brighindi said that Cavalli visited home on the weekends often to see her parents and for work at the Sunset Beach Tanning Resort in Fairfield.

Cavalli and Morra were also very close and had been dating for close to a year.

“Her boyfriend was very outgoing. He had so many friends,” Brighindi said, and added that many of Cavalli’s friends from CCSU were well acquainted with Morra, a student at the University of Hartford.

In her email, Tordenti wrote that the university wishes to hold a memorial service for Cavalli soon, but no date has been scheduled as of Monday night.

“Last week must have been heart wrenching for Viviana’s family so we decided to wait until this week to work out specifics with them as we would like for them to be a part of the process and event,” Tordenti wrote in an email to The Recorder. “I hope that we will be able to have a service early next week.”

As of Monday three Facebook groups had been formed in memoriam. Cavalli’s funeral was held on Wednesday Nov. 25 at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church.