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Hundreds gather in cold to recall Seton Hill coach, her baby

| Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Seton Hill University students, faculty and staff gather for a candlelight prayer vigil on Thursday, March 21, 2013, on the Greensburg campus to remember crash victims Kristina Quigley, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team; Jackson Quigley, her unborn baby boy; and bus driver Anthony Guaetta.

Even though Kristina Quigley had been on Seton Hill University's campus only two years, her leadership and drive were apparent to Brian Novotny, head coach of the men's lacrosse team.

“I think Kristie was such a vital, important part of our students' lives and our campus community,” Novotny said Thursday night after a candlelight vigil for Quigley on campus.

Quigley, the university's women's lacrosse coach, and her unborn son Jackson died in a bus crash Saturday morning while traveling with the team to a game.

“To be able to come together and to go through the grieving process and celebrate her life is a really important thing for us today and something we're very honored to do,” Novotny said.

About 300 people, mostly students, gathered in the bitter cold Thursday night at Seton Hill's quad to remember Quigley and Jackson. Some hugged and cried. The university's athletic teams were represented as well as the general student population.

Members of the men's lacrosse team held candles and stood solemnly near the center of the group.

Senior midfielder James Delaney, of British Columbia, Canada, said he was shocked to hear of Quigley's death. A bus carrying the team to a game at Millersville University crashed along the Pennsylvania Turnpike at about 8:50 a.m. Bus driver Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Johnstown, also was killed.

Seventeen players and coaches aboard the bus received treatment for minor to major injuries, according to state police.

Being supportive is important for the men's lacrosse players, “being as close as we are with the women's team,” Delaney said.

The vigil lasted about 15 minutes and, in a prayer, the group expressed gratitude for Quigley's commitment and “unselfish dedication to the lacrosse team.”

The song “On Eagle's Wings” ended the ceremony and, while most of the group quietly dispersed, several members of the men's lacrosse team lingered.

Carolyn Bringe of Greensburg didn't know Quigley.

“I wanted to support the Seton Hill community,” said Bringe, a 21-year-old junior. “Everyone here feels personally connected.”

Friday funerals are to be held for Quigley in Maryland and Guaetta in Johnstown. Guaetta is a graduate of St. Vincent College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has two children, Rosanna and Joseph, with his wife Grace.

The university is arranging student transportation to Quigley's funeral.

Quigley and Guaetta died of multiple traumatic injuries and Jackson died of blood loss, according to autopsy reports. Toxicology tests for Guaetta are pending. Police have not determined what caused the Mlaker Charter & Tours bus to veer off the highway, near the Carlisle interchange.

One player, Amanda Michalski, 18, a freshman from Coon Rapids, Minn., remained hospitalized in good condition in Penn State Hershey Medical Center. She filed a lawsuit against Mlaker Charter & Tours Thursday.

Lacrosse teams across the country have been adorning their uniforms with Seton Hill's crimson and gold colors during games since the accident. Fundraising efforts have netted more than $50,000 for a scholarship to be established for Gavin, the 2 12-year-old son of Quigley and her husband, Glenn.

Renatta Signorini and Joe Napsha are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Signorini can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com and Napsha can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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