A car crash in Cape Cod this holiday weekend claimed the life of Marina Keegan, a 22-year-old woman from Wayland, Mass. who graduated from Yale University last week, with plans to pursue a writing career, the New York Daily News reports.
Keegan was killed around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon in a single-vehicle rollover that occurred when her boyfriend Michael Gocksch, also 22, lost control of his Lexus and hit the right-side guarding rail, according to a press release from police in Dennis, Mass.
Keegan was pronounced dead at the scene while Gocksch, a fellow Yale alum who graduated with Keegan last Monday, was transported to Cape Cod Hospital in stable condition. Police said both passengers were wearing seatbelts and speed did not appear to be a factor in the crash.
According to Yale Daily News, Keegan was “a prolific writer, actress and activist” who graduated magna cum laude from the university with a concentration in writing. She had just landed a job at The New Yorker as an editorial assistant and was scheduled to move to Brooklyn with friends in June.
In addition to acting, writing plays and serving as President of the Yale College Democrats, Keegan was a member of OccupyYale who sparked debate on campus with a feature story in Yale’s WEEKEND Magazine called “Even artichokes have doubts,” which discussed the high percentage of Yale graduates who enter the consulting and finance industry. National Public Radio highlighted the story in a February episode of the program “All Things Considered.”
During Memorial Day weekend, Keegan had planned to workshop her folk musical “Independents,” which was slated to appear in the New York International Fringe Festival in August.
“[Marina] was just one of those amazing, wise souls that was given to us as a gift. She had an unbelievable, beyond-her-years way of looking at the world, and her passion was to try and use her words to explore the human condition,” Keegan’s mother told the New York Daily News. “[The musical] is one of her legacies that she will leave behind.”
In her last piece as a staff writer for the Yale Daily News, an editorial called “The Opposite of Loneliness” published Sunday following her death, Keegan wrote about her hopes and anxieties as she looked toward the future.
“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time,” Keegan wrote. “The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”
Source: Huffington Post
This is yet another reminder of the horrific randomness and indiscrimination of death. By all accounts, this girl did not deserve to die. Nor should she have: she was wearing her seatbelt, and the car was not going particularly fast. Many people have survived far worse. That could just as easily have been me in her place. There’s just no telling how death will work its arbitrary ways.
Think about what this young woman could’ve given this world. She had talent, intelligent, and ambition. She was already a leader among her generation. And now she’s gone forever due to the most unexpected scenario (though we’ve yet to know what really caused the crash).
I feel especially bad for her boyfriend, who will wake up to hear the most horrific news imaginable. He’ll no doubt blame himself, too, given that he was the driver. Losing someone like that is hard enough, but feeling some level of responsibility for it is even worse. It’s an awful feeling, and I had a close-call like that myself (sparing the details, at one point I thought my girlfriend had died in a car accident; the horror remains indescribable).
The world is such a cruel place. Even if you remove all our capacity for evil and foolishness, there are still terrible occurrences like this going on all the time (an earthquake recently struck Italy for example). As long as we have the intellectual capacity to be self-aware of our mortality, we’ll always suffer for some reason or another. Even a “natural” death is no less painful to loved ones. Distress is an inseparable component of life. All the good in the world is just a band-aid.