Maryville College held a service Wednesday mourning the loss of a new student who passed away from injuries when she fell out of a moving car on Foothills Parkway.
The woman died after a roof rack she was hanging onto during a drive through Foothills Parkway disconnected and caused her to fall from a car Tuesday night.
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park said in a statement Wednesday morning 18-year-old Maiah Reilich-Godino of Eddington, Maine, died after falling from a 2011 Jeep Patriot near mile marker 13 at approximately 10:30 p.m.
She was a passenger in the car which was traveling on the parkway between Chilhowee Lake and Look Rock.
The statement said Reilich-Godino was sitting in an open window hanging onto the Jeep’s roof rack when the rack detached from the vehicle, causing her to fall to her death.
Blount County Sheriff Office Deputies and Park Rangers performed CPR until American Medical Response ambulance service arrived and pronounced Reilich-Godino dead on the scene, the statement said.
The driver and a front-seat passenger, the only other occupants of the vehicle, were not injured.
Maryville College officials confirmed Reilich-Godino was a student there and said in a statement they were heartbroken at the news of her death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this very difficult time,” the school’s Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Melanie Tucker said in a statement.
“Although she was part of our community for only two months, Maiah had made several friends in her classes and residence hall and was beginning to get involved with campus organizations,” she added. “Those who knew her well say she was happy to be in college and happy to be at Maryville.”
A service in the young woman’s honor was held on Wednesday to allow the campus community to come together for prayers and remembrance, Tucker said.
The GSMNP statement said rangers were investigating the accident.