Irish American teen Brittney Walsh, a standout Long Island student on her way to college was killed by a drunken driver late Sunday night, just a few short days after graduating with honors from her high school.
Walsh, 18, of Copiague, was praised by her heartbroken father as a gifted student with a head full of big dreams.
'She would have been something,' Tom Walsh told the New York Post on Monday. 'She would have been hot s--t wherever she went.'
Walsh hailed from a tight knit working-class neighborhood, but she was destined to land a high-powered job on Wall Street her proud father said.
'Any parent would want a girl like her,' he added. 'She did it all on her own.'
According to the Post, Walsh was driving home after a work at a local Kmart when Michael Grasing, 31, of Babylon, slammed her vehicle from behind and sent it flying into a utility pole. She had graduated just days earlier from Walter G. O’Connell High School in Copiague.
Walsh was bound for York College but Grasing ended that dream. All that remained was her mangled SUV with the Congrats Grad sticker still on the door. She was declared dead at the scene.
Grasing, a married father, suffered slight injuries and was charged with DWI. Walsh's father blasted the drunk driver, saying that his choice to drink and drive has devastated a once-happy family.
'He made a big mistake,' Walsh said. 'Everybody has a couple of drinks here and there, but you have to understand you’re not supposed to drive. I wish it was different. I don’t know what to say. He made a stupid choice, and that choice I have to pay for now. I’m a firm believer in consequence, so I think he’s going to pay, too.'
School officials at Walter G. O’Connell High School told the Post that Walsh was one of the highest-achieving students in her class.
'She was involved in varsity club, varsity soccer, winter and spring track, National Honor Society, student council, chorus, ecology club, and also helped build sets for the school play,' the school said in a statement.
Charges against Grasing could be elevated by prosecutors, after their investigation and toxicology results come in. He smelled of alcohol and showed signs of intoxication the Post wrote.
The tragedy has engulfed Grasing's own father too, who told The Post that his son is a devoted father. 'He’s a good kid,' Michael Grasing Sr. told reporters. 'I’m just devastated. My heart goes out to the family of that girl. What is there to say in a situation like this?'