Rider community saddened by loss of freshman student

By Dakota Kalman

Irma Lopez, a freshman history major, died on May 20 after getting into a car accident on Route 571 in West Windsor .

A Rider University freshman died after losing control of her vehicle during the early morning hours of May 20, West Windsor police said. 

Irma Lopez was traveling alone down Route 571 when she lost control of her 2006 Toyota Scion near Southfield Center, striking a tree and splitting the Toyota in half, West Windsor police said. 

Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to police, the road was wet at the time of the accident and Lopez was driving at an “unsafe speed.”

A family friend started a Go-Fund-Me page to cover the funeral expenses and reached $7,385 out of the $10,000 goal. The campaign had over 150 donations from relatives, friends, community members and corporations, including Dunkin Donuts. 

Maria Fernanda Pinos, the creator of the Go-Fund-Me, described Lopez as “joyful and bright.” 

Others shared similar sentiments in the comments section of the page. Scott Mcloughlin wrote, “We will miss seeing her smiling face in our courtyard” and Northgate Tenants Corp Management & Staff stated, “Irma was a sweet and beautiful young lady.” 

Lopez’s funeral was held at the Glackin-Saul Funeral Home May 24 at 3:30 p.m. The family requested that all who attended wear white to celebrate the life that Lopez lived. 

“Irma would always randomly text me that she missed me or she would text me in the morning hoping I’d have a good day. It was the little things with her that made her so special,” said junior marketing major Rithika Ramasubbu, a close friend. “She was a light you didn’t know you needed in your life and always making sure you were okay even when she wasn’t.”

Kristine Brown, assistant vice president of university marketing and communications expressed condolenes from the university community. 

“The tragic loss of a young person is always heartbreaking, but it’s even more difficult when that person is a member of our own Rider family,” said Brown. “Irma was a smart, beautiful young woman who was just beginning her time at Rider. As a community, we collectively mourn her loss and keep her family and friends close in our thoughts.” 

For Students struggling with grief, counseling services are available on the Lawrenceville campus at Zoerner House and the Princeton campus at Williamson Hall.

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