Star student killed on the way to celebratory lunch with parents after getting degree

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:20 PM EDT
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HOLMDEL, N.J. (Gray News) – An 18-year-old was killed in a crash while she was on her way to a celebratory lunch with her parents for receiving her associate degree.

According to WNBC, on Thursday morning, Lauren Hewski, a senior at Saint John Vianney High School, earned her associate degree from Brookdale Community College as a member of her high school’s Early College Academy.

An hour after getting that degree at a commencement ceremony, Hewski rode with her 17-year-old boyfriend in his Jeep Cherokee to meet her parents for a celebratory lunch.

On their way to lunch, the Jeep crashed into a utility pole and flipped, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office. Hewski died, and her boyfriend was left injured.

Saint John Vianney High School also confirmed Hewski’s death in a tweet, asking the community for prayers.

Hewski was supposed to attend her senior prom the night after she died. Because of the tragedy, Saint John Vianney High School decided to postpone the prom.

Hewski was also just a week shy of graduating high school.

According to a GoFundMe page, Hewski planned to attend Syracuse University to study political science and public policy in the fall.

“In high school, Lauren was on the Distinctive Honor Roll, a School Ambassador, a four-year Varsity soccer player and captain, class president, and class secretary,” the GoFundMe page read. “In her community, Lauren was an active member of Girl Scouts of America, serving on the CEO Advisory Board and as a Council Delegate for the Sandy Hook Region. Lauren also earned her Bronze and Silver Awards and was working toward completing the prestigious Gold Award. In addition, she was on U.S. Representative Frank Pallone Jr’s Youth Advisory Council, working on policy agendas for immigration and homelessness, and was an active volunteer for the Raine Foundation.”

Officials said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.