PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire — Two people remained hospitalized Monday following the single-vehicle crash on Thanksgiving that took the life of Drew Ceppetelli, a local student-athlete attending Salve Regina University, just two weeks shy of her 22nd birthday.
Tyler N. Troy, 22, of Northwood, who police identified as the driver of the 2018 Porsche Macan, was treated and released from Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, according to hospital spokesperson Adam Bagni.
Ceppetelli, 21, a Barrington, New Hampshire, resident, and graduate of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, died approximately five hours after the crash, according to police.
Amber Lagace, spokesperson for New Hampshire State Police, provided the update on the hospitalized passengers, though police still have not released the identities of the injured passengers among the six people in the Porsche Macan when it crashed about 1:17 a.m. Nov. 24 at the junction of Route 1 Bypass South and the city traffic circle.
Here’s what we know about the fatal crash and how the Barrington and Salve Regina University communities are remembering Ceppetelli.
What we're learning about Drew Ceppetelli, who was loved in her local and school communities
An obituary for Ceppetelli, a senior studying health care administration at Salve Regina and team captain of the school’s softball team, noted that she would have soon graduated with her bachelor’s degree and would have turned 22 years old on Dec. 7.
“Drew was living her very best life and made the most of her limited time,” the obituary reads. “Those closest to Drew believe she was put on this earth to improve the lives of others, while amplifying the good in everyone and in every situation. Drew’s radiant energy transformed the lives of everyone she encountered. In just shy of twenty-two years, she has positively impacted more people than one can account for, and she would encourage us to do what we can similarly. Drew lived by daily affirmations and gratefulness. Her favorite quote was, 'You are what you think you are,' encouraging others to think and act positively.”
Born in 2000 in Rochester, Ceppetelli was a skilled softball and volleyball player and captain, gymnast, server at Smokey’s Tavern and former Coe-Brown prom queen.
“Drew was a born leader whose smile lit up every room she entered,” her obituary states. “She was kind, hilarious, beautiful, had a positive attitude and energy and lived her life to the fullest.”
After attending elementary and middle school in Barrington, Ceppetelli attended Coe-Brown, where she was an honors student and graduated in 2019. During her senior year, she won the school’s Women’s Athlete of the Year recognition and went on a two-week mission trip to Haiti.
Coe-Brown’s headmaster, David Smith, called Ceppetelli a positive force in the school’s community.
“She demonstrated excellence as a student leader, athlete and, most importantly, (as a) caring person! We all appreciate having time with her as she was a positive influence in our lives,” he said in a statement provided for this story. “Our love and support goes out to her family and friends.”
Ceppetelli’s obituary thanked the teammates and coaches she played with and for during her life and named the Barrington Youth Association, Gymnastics at Brentwood Commons, Tri-Star Gymnastics, Seacoast United Softball and Seacoast Volleyball as influential organizations and groups in her life.
Following her graduation, Ceppetelli intended to receive her master’s degree in health care administration from Salve Regina in 2023. It was a dream of hers to open a yoga studio and holistic center after completing her studies.
“It was her desire to educate, inspire, motivate, create positive energy, and spread peace and good will for others,” Ceppetelli’s obituary says.
Ceppetelli is survived by her mother and father, Melissa and Derek Ceppetelli, her brother, Dante, maternal grandparents Bob and Gail Feineman, paternal grandparents Joe and Arlene Ceppetelli, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, her boyfriend Lucas Moynahan, more extended family and “countless amazing friends,” according to her obituary.
Visitation hours are being held Monday at Edgerly Funeral Home in Rochester from 3 to 7 p.m. Ceppetelli’s funeral is being held at St. Mary Church in Rochester on Tuesday at 11 a.m., followed by a celebration of life at Smokey’s Tavern.
Fundraiser honoring Ceppetelli has received thousands of dollars in donations
An online fundraiser set up in Ceppetelli’s memory had brought in over $47,000 as of Monday afternoon since being created over the weekend.
Orchestrated by an organizer from Newport, Rhode Island, where Salve Regina is located, the GoFundMe page formed for Ceppetelli’s family has received over 900 individual contributions.
“To know Drew was to love Drew,” the GoFundMe states, furthering that the money raised will go to her parents and “towards something that will make Drew smile down on us.”
“Anyone who knew Drew knew how energetic, funny, and loving she was,” the fundraiser reads. “Her infectious smile left you no choice but to smile back.”
How is Salve Regina University responding to Ceppetelli's death?
Salve Regina University returned from Thanksgiving break on Sunday, days after losing their classmate.
Matt Boxler, media spokesperson for the private university, said the school’s Mercy Center for Spiritual Life welcomed Drew’s friends, teammates and loved ones from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday to “share reflections, prayers and memories” of the fatal car crash victim. A Mass was held in the school’s chapel during that time.
The school made arrangements to transport students by bus from Rhode Island to Rochester on Monday to attend the visitation hours for Ceppetelli, he said.
“Staff from our Mercy Center and Counseling Services offices have been and will continue to be available to assist students seeking comfort and support as they need,” Boxler added.
A space in the university’s chapel will be designated in memory of Ceppetelli in the coming weeks, while a prayer and remembrance vigil for her will be held by the school in the chapel this Sunday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.
“All members of our community are invited to reflect here, offer a prayer and leave a note for Drew’s family,” Boxler said of the school’s Our Lady of Mercy Chapel.
Sanford, ME man charged:Manslaughter, OUI in fatal Route 4 crash that killed Wells mom at age 32
What is status of investigation into fatal crash?
Excessive speed and impairment were cited by police as potential causes of the crash, which remains under investigation. New Hampshire State Police said last Thursday that the Porsche exited the left side of the roadway and hit a curb divider before entering the travel area of the traffic circle. The vehicle headed into the circle’s center grass median, causing it to flip numerous times, the police said.
Passing motorists and nearby city police officers tended to the vehicle’s occupants and provided aid until emergency responders arrived, according to the police.
Ceppetelli and three others were transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where she died as a result of her injuries. The driver and another occupant were taken to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The police said the traffic circle was closed for about five hours, reopening at about 6:30 a.m.
Assisting the state police in the investigation were Portsmouth police; members of the Newington, Portsmouth and Rye fire departments; the New Hampshire Department of Transportation; the Rockingham County attorney’s office and National Wrecker Service.
State police have asked that anyone with information contact Trooper First Class Nathaniel D. Goodwin by email at Nathaniel.D.Goodwin@DOS.NH.GOV or call the state police at (603) 223-4381.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Drew Ceppetelli died, two still hospitalized from NH Thanksgiving crash