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Student, 19, Is Fatally Struck by Fire Department Vehicle: 'A Heartbreaking and Tragic Loss'

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A Connecticut teen was fatally struck by a fire department SUV early Sunday and authorities are investigating after the firefighter behind the wheel allegedly continued driving.

State police said Jeffny Pally, 19, was sitting on the ground with her back against a bay door at the UConn campus fire station when the door opened.

An SUV reportedly driven by shift commander Dana Barrow Jr., 60, then emerged, authorities say. Pally fell over as the door opened and was crushed by the Chevy Tahoe.

Read: Heroic 5-Year-Old Pulls His 2-Year-Old Brother From Wreck That Killed Their Father

Now, Barrow has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate why he failed to stop.

Pally's mother described her daughter as a caring person who was always helping others.

"She always felt that she needs to do something to help people and actually, very recently, she was thinking of doing nursing," her mother, Shiny Pally told CBS2.

Read: Dog Kills 4-Month-Old Baby and Leaves His Toddler Brother Seriously Injured

Jeffny, who grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, was a sophomore at UConn's Storrs campus.

The school's president addressed the tragedy in a statement.

"Every student is precious to us, and this is a heartbreaking and tragic loss," President Susan Herbst said. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and all those whose lives she touched. We know that words cannot begin to express their grief."

Watch: Newborn Survives Emergency C-Section After Pregnant Mom Dies in Car Crash

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