Update: The funeral mass for Kalie Gill will take place on Monday (Oct 21) at 10:45am at St. Barnabas High School Chapel (425 E 240th St, Bronx, NY 10470).
Hundreds of mourners lined the block on McLean Avenue, Woodlawn, to pay their respects to Kalie Gill’s family on Sunday afternoon.
Friends, extended family, and community members said they expect thousands to attend the wake of the 15-year-old Leitrim girl who was tragically killed by a runaway car last Friday. Men, women, and teenagers could not hold back their tears outside David J Hodder & Son’s funeral home at what they expected to be one of the largest funerals the community has seen. The repeated word among the stunned crowd was “unimaginable.”
On Friday, October 11, Kalie and her 12-year-old sister, Lindsey, were attending a church carvinal, at Coyne Park, with their cousins. They were struck by the runaway car of Roseanne Piccirilli (55), a sixth grade teacher. No charges have been made and the police continue to investigate the accident.
Kalie died shortly afterwards from her injuries. Her sister Lindsey remains in hospital.
Lindsey who was in an induced coma is now awake and has been informed of her sister’s passing, a source close to the family told IrishCentral. Despite serious injuries, including internal bleeding and multiple broken bones, Lindsey is expected to make a full recovery. She will remain in hospital for two months and then attend a rehab facility.
Early last week the largely Irish community of Woodlawn set up a fund to aid the Gill family during this difficult time. One mourner outside the funeral home on Sunday said “That’s all we can do. We don’t want them to have to worry about bills or anything else. It’s the only thing we can do."
So far the community has raised thousands and the Kalie Gill Fund continues to grow. Kalie's classmates at St. Barnabas High School are selling broaches made of pearls and beads to raise money for the fund. They are also selling purple bracelets, as the color was Kalie’s favorite. The East Yonkers Boys and Girls Club has already raised $2,000 for the family by selling bracelets.
The Gill family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Kalie Gill Fund to aid the family and pay for Lindsey’s ongoing medical expenses.
A prayer card distributed by the family included a photo of Kalie and the prayer “A beautiful life that came to an end, she died as she lived, everyone’s friend. In our hearts a memory will always be kept of one we loved, and will never forget."
Just up the street, at the scene of the tragedy, a memorial to Kalie continues to grow. Flowers, candles, mini Irish road signs, Irish flags, and a Leitrim GAA jersey decorate the marquee. People stop to say a prayer and cars slow as they pass, to pay their respects.
As the community continues to deal with this senseless tragedy they are also doing what they do best, showing their support. As one woman who stopped me to show me the Kalie Gill Fund envelope put it “At least we can do this for them.”
The funeral mass for Kalie Gill will take place on Monday (Oct 21) at 10:45am at St. Barnabas High School Chapel (425 E 240th St, Bronx, NY 10470). To donate to the Kalie Gill Fund “to honor the memory of Kalie Gill and to support the Gill Family during this tragedy” click here. Alternatively send a check to:
Sr. Joan Faraone, RJM – Principal
St. Barnabas High School