Stony Brook University student Amanda Gambacorto, 21, died yesterday afternoon after crashing a three-quarter midget racecar at Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey.
Gambacorto, a double major in environmental humanities and philosophy, was following another car during a clinic from Green Flag Driving Experience before losing control and hitting a wall. She was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune at 1:26 p.m., as reported by the Asbury Park Press.
Green Flag Driving Experience’s website describes the type of car Gambacorto was driving as small scale race cars “with a very high power-to-weight-ratio which use four-cylinder engines.”
Gambacorto was a marketing intern for the Department of Athletics at Stony Brook, as well as a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and a “Communications Assistant” with the “Advancement Department” at Stony Brook, according to her Linkedin page.
Alpha Sigma Alpha made this statement on its Facebook page and Instagram about Gambacorto: “For those who didn’t know Amanda that well, she was [a] fiery spirit who would try anything once. Her smile and passion for the world was contagious. Amanda was a friend, a teacher, a sister, a role model. She touched not only the lives of all of our sisters, but anyone she encountered. Although Amanda might not know it, she has changed the world for the better and left a lasting impression, especially on us. We love you Amanda and you’ll never be forgotten.”
Sarah Elsesser, a sorority sister of Gambacorto and staff writer for The Statesman, said via email that Gambacorto was a “bright person who touched the hearts of many.”
“Amanda was very influential in my sisterhood in Alpha Sigma Alpha and in many others,” said Elsesser. “She was a happy-go-lucky person with a contagious personality and smile. I think my sisters would agree that we have a strong chapter and in the face of a tragedy like this one it will only bring us closer.”
Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI), of which Gambacorto was a member, made a statement about her on its Facebook page.
“She played a critical role in helping raise awareness for DCI, and her wondrous efforts won’t go forgotten,” the post said. “One DCI tradition that Amanda has started, was the idea of the iconic green bracelets that we all wear and sell, as she knew it was a great idea to help raise money, and promote what DCI is all about. Her warm smile and loving spirit will always be with us, as well as the impact she made with us, on the children of the world. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Amanda’s family and friends.”