GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Somber athletes, students and school staff hugged and cried in a century-old chapel on the campus of a small Catholic university outside Pittsburgh on Sunday night, mourning the loss of a coach, mother and friend who died a day earlier along with her unborn child when the team's bus crashed on the way to a game.
Members of the Seton Hill University community tearfully gathered at Saint Joseph Chapel, known on the hilltop campus as "the heart" of the school, to memorialize victims of the fatal crash — especially head lacrosse coach Kristina Quigley, who was remembered as warm, outgoing and a natural leader.
The ornate chapel with 20-foot high stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, marble columns, and arched ceilings, echoed with biblical readings and songs, followed by prayers and sermons.
Those in attendance were reminded of their own mortality by the Rev. Jeremiah O'Shea, who asked: "Aren't we all so helpless in the face of death?"
Players and coaches from Seton Hill were among 23 people aboard when the bus crashed into a tree Saturday morning on the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Harrisburg. The team was headed to an afternoon game at Millersville University, about 50 miles from the crash site in central Pennsylvania. Police are investigating the cause.
Quigley, 30, of Greensburg, died of her injuries at a hospital, Cumberland County authorities said. Quigley was about six months pregnant, and her unborn son didn't survive. The bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Johnstown, died at the scene.
The service program read "In Loving Memory of Kristina Quigley and Son."
"It's numbing," said sophomore Kt Dimmick of Rochester, N.Y., who was friends with some members of the team. "There's really no words for it. The simple fact that she was pregnant."
Some members of the women's lacrosse team, wearing their team jerseys, walked down the aisle during the service, holding hands and fighting back tears. They were joined at the service by members of the school's track, basketball and baseball teams. Some students wiped away tears, while most were somber and quiet through the 65-minute long service.
Men's basketball coach Tony Morocco said Quigley made in impact in the two years she was at the school.
"In the short time she was here, she was really a sincere person who always used coaching to touch kids," he said. "Often that is so missed."
Morocco said that the school's mission is to take a student and develop their soul. "She did that," he said.
"What she gave those girls is going to outlast this," the 70-year-old Morocco said.
Quigley, a native of Baltimore, was married and had a young son, Gavin, according to the school. No members of her family spoke at the service.