Tragic crash claims life

In a tragic crash, a young woman perished on the Bruckner Expressway early Thursday morning.

Magaret Donnelly, 25, of Silver Beach, was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of the Bruckner Expressway in a 2011 Hyundai Sonata at approximately 3:10 a.m. on Thursday, December 22. The car she was driving was struck first by a 2010 Mercedes, and then by a 2005 Volvo tractor-trailer truck near the Middletown Road pedestrian overpass between the Pelham Bay Park and E. Tremont Avenue exits, according to a police source.

The force of the impact sent her car into a traffic median. She was removed to Jacobi Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police have not released the location she entered the highway, or any other details of an ongoing investigation, a police source said.

Preston High School, where Donnelly was an associate in the school’s admissions office since September 2010, issued a statement about the tragic loss of life on the school’s website urging the school community to pray for her.

“Among the many jobs that she handled with care, sensitivity, compassion, and skill were the recruitment of new students and the mentoring of some of our scholarship students,” the Preston statement read. “She was a bright, beautiful and talented young woman and we grieve her loss along with her family and friends,”

At the funeral mass at St. Frances de Chantal Church on Tuesday, December 27, hundreds of mourners attended the service. FDNY personnel lined the entrance and exit leading to the church as Donnelly’s casket was brought in and out of the church. Donnelly’s father is a retired FDNY battalion chief, sources said.

Crowds lined E. Tremont Avenue on Monday, December 26 for a wake at Schuyler Hill Funeral Home, located at 3535 E. Tremont Avenue, source said.

The whole Donnelly family, including all five children, are active in parish life at St. Frances, said St. Frances parish council president Mark Angeli.

“The family are very active members of the parish,” Angeli said. “I know her mother Liz, and she has always been an example to many children in the parish, inviting them into her home and taking care of the parish family as if they were her own children. We are all deeply saddened by the loss.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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