“You saved my life and now you are truly my guardian.”
“Whenever I was in a bad mood, you would say come here and give me a hug.”
“We love and miss you so much.”
Those are some of the words adorning the memorial that now stands where 20-year-old Michelle DeFranco of Shoreham was killed Saturday night after she was struck by a truck in Wading River.
Riverhead Police said Ms. DeFranco, a 2007 Shoreham-Wading River High School graduate, stepped into westbound traffic on North Wading River Road, near Dogwood Lane, about 9:45 p.m. when she was hit by a 1990 Toyota pickup truck driven by Jacob McComb, 22, of Wading River. She was treated at the scene by Wading River firefighters and taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where she died. Mr. McComb was not charged.
Detectives were on the scene the following morning taking photographs of the site. Riverhead Police asked anyone who witnessed the accident and has not been interviewed to contact Detective Michael Schmidt at 727-4500, ext. 289.
Ms. DeFranco’s friends and family members gathered at the scene, on a winding stretch of road between Dogwood Lane and Carrie Court, to build a tribute the Sunday morning after the crash, with a steady stream of mourners visiting the site in the days since.
There, flowers, candles and handwritten notes lie next to a statue of Jesus Christ and a framed photo of Ms. DeFranco, described as a loving daughter and sister.
Friends also have started a memorial Facebook page to post memories of the woman they said was a “great, caring and loving friend.”
“I will miss our convo’s always worrying about other people. You were the most caring person & you always gave the best advice,” one poster wrote.
“Keep dancing and smiling. You will be missed,” said another.
Visiting hours for Ms. DeFranco were held Tuesday at O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Miller Place. A funeral mass was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 24, at St. Mark’s R.C. Church in Shoreham, followed by private cremation.