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'My heart's broken': Yale grad Marina Keegan mourned after car crash

Marina Keegan via Facebook

Writer and activist Marina Keegan.

Marina Keegan had just graduated from Yale University and was about to begin a dream job at The New Yorker. But Keegan, 22, was killed in a car crash Saturday and is being mourned as "an exceptional person, wildly talented, and with the confidence and character ... to have done fine things."

Keegan wrote her last piece for a special edition of the Yale Daily News, the student newspaper, which distributed it at the Class of 2012’s commencement exercises earlier this month.

The newspaper republished the essay, "Opposite of Loneliness," after her death. It includes these lines: "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.”

Read Marina Keegan's essay "Opposite of Loneliness"

On Saturday, Keegan and Michael Gocksch, 22, her boyfriend from New York and fellow Yale 2012 alum, were headed to join Keegan’s parents in Cape Cod, Mass., according to the Cape Cod Times. Their road trip was in part to revise a musical that Keegan had written with two collaborators. The production was slated among performances at the New York International Fringe Festival this summer, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Keegan’s parents, Tracy and Kevin Keegan, told the Cape Cod Times that state troopers brought news of the accident. Keegan was a passenger in a 1997 black Lexus that had drifted off the road and into the right guardrail, the Cape Cod Times reported. The car then careened across two lanes, hit a guardrail on the left, and rolled over at least twice, according to the Times.

Keegan died at the scene; Gocksch treated at Cape Cod Hospital and released, a hospital spokesman told the newspaper. 

"My heart's broken," Kevin Keegan told the Cape Cod Times.

Keegan took on Wall Street recruiters on her college campus last year, served as president of the Yale College Democrats and was a member of Yale Occupy Movement, according the Yale Daily News.

This summer, Keegan had been looking forward to moving to Brooklyn: She had been hired at The New Yorker as an editorial assistant. 

“We were saddened to learn of the death of Marina Keegan, who was to start work at The New Yorker on June 11th; she had just graduated from Yale, where, by all accounts, she was an extraordinary presence,” The New Yorker said in a statement Tuesday. “Her colleagues at The New Yorker were eagerly anticipating her return, and their thoughts, as well as those of the wider staff, are with her family and friends.”

Yale College Dean Mary Miller informed the Yale community of the tragedy in an email Sunday. "Marina was an exceptional young woman, an outstanding student and a dear friend and a vibrant member of this community," Miller said in the email, the Yale Daily News reported. "Her death is a tragedy for all who knew her."

“Marina was someone who looked at the world and knew it had to be changed, but at the same time saw there was beauty in it,” Yael Zinkow, a friend, told the Yale Daily News on Sunday.

“She was an exceptional person, wildly talented, and with the confidence and character (and personal modesty) to have done fine things,” English lecturer John Crowley, who advised Keegan on her writing concentration senior project, wrote in an email to the Yale Daily News. “Her loss can’t be expressed — to those who knew her, to her family, to her friends — but the loss also to the world that lay before her."

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