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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Student Amanda Gambacorto, 21, dies following accident at Wall Stadium Speedway

Amanda Gambacorto, 21, was studying environmental humanities and philosophy. (PHOTO CREDIT: ALPHA SIGMA ALPHA – ZETA IOTA CHAPTER)

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.”


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    David FennAug 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    My heart goes out to Amanda and her family. As a motor sports expert I can tell you that Amanda’s death was 100% avoidable. The left and right sides of the rollcage were not padded, just a solid bar that shattered her skull. Also, the school did not install full-containment seats that would have prevented her head from hitting the bar. It is the school’s resposibility to offer their participants the utmost in safety. Old antiquated TQ midgets are not safe especially on a fast, paved oval. Green Flag should have done more to protect its customers.

    GOD BLESS YOU AMANDA. YOU GOT A BAD DEAL from a rinky dink racing outfit.

  • S

    stephenAug 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I am very sad to see this as a green flag . participant.
    I push every one to full fill there dream s .
    .I hate to see such a young person leave us so early.
    I would say without ever meeting her this was a passion.
    Do or don’t you will.never know. She took life to the fullest.
    I will always remember you, wish there where more like you.