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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook student dies in storm related crash

Vishwaja Muppa, a Stony Brook University student, died early this morning in a car accident in Port Jefferson Station.

According to a Newsday article, Muppa, 21, was in the back seat when a Suffolk police car broadsided the vehicle at the darkened intersection of Route 347 and Route 112. The power outage was due to Hurricane Sandy.

Muppa was riding in the 2002 Toyota Highlander when the marked Ford Crown Victoria collided with the Toyota at approximately 1:30 a.m.

“She was such an amazing person,” Simi Jawandha, SBU student and friend of Muppa, said in a Facebook message. “I think everyone should know that. She was literally the first friend I made in college and more than my best friend she was a sister.”

Jawandha said Muppa was majoring in biology and planned on graduating in the spring. She was also involved with the executive board of a new community service club, called Thaakat.

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. sent out an email to the campus community Wednesday morning addressing Muppa’s death.

“On behalf of Stony Brook University,” Stanley wrote, “I extend personal and heartfelt condolences to Vishwaja’s family, her friends, her professors and all those who knew her.”

According to this email, a group of SBU students was in the car with Muppa. One of the students is in critical condition at SBU hospital while the others “were spared from life-threatening injuries.”

Muppa worked as a secretary in Stanley’s office since her freshman year.

Tiffany Ramgolam, student at SBU and friend of Muppa, said “she had a strong drive.”

According to Jawandha, Muppa had “such a bright future ahead of her” and planned on going to medical school. Jawandha also described Muppa as being “an intelligent, caring, fun individual.”

Jaspreet Benipal, student at SBU and friend of Muppa, described Muppa as “kind-hearted, selfless, always ready to help a friend in need,” in a Facebook message.

“She was just an amazing person,” Benipal said. “We met freshman year but got really close thanks to Physics 121 class. She would always drop what she was doing and go out of her way to help me…She always knew how to brighten my day.”

Jawandha said she remembers Muppa as being a fun person.

“College wouldn’t have been the same without her,” Jawandha said. “I honestly can’t imagine having to live the rest of my life without her either…She was an incredible person and she meant the world to me.”


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