They were just 23, 24, and 13 when they lost their lives due to a superstorm which was never supposed to happen. Meet these tragic young women.
As the first photos of the victims of Hurricane Sandy are being released, the staggering and tragic loss of life is becoming evident. At least 59 are known to have died after the monster storm knocked down massive trees and dangerous power lines, as well as flooding homes. Among the dead are Jessie Streich-Kest, Lauren Abraham, and Andrea Dresch — young women tragically struck down in their youth.
Jessie, 24, and friend Jacob Vogelman, 23, were out walking their dog near their home on Ditmas Avenue in Brooklyn, New York on Monday evening, Oct. 29, believing the worst of the storm had passed. They were crushed by a falling tree around 8:00 pm, but weren’t found until 7:55 am on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Jessie, who grew up in the Prospect Park South area of Brooklyn, was a teaching fellow who had just started teaching at the Bushwick School for Social Justice. She was also an activist who worked to stop abuse of carriage horses in Central Park. In a statement, her family said, “Just 24 years old, Jessie Streich-Kest left a lasting impression on all who met her, and especially on her students at Bushwick HS for Social Justice, to whom she was deeply committed. Jessie loved life and was deeply devoted to social justice.”
Lauren, 23, died in Richmond Hill, Queens after being electrocuted by an electricity cable while going out after the storm to take pictures. A dozen witnesses watched in horror, unable to offer any help. She was a make-up artist and photographer, who ran a makeup studio in the basement of her house and used the empty third floor as a makeshift photography studio.
Her neighbor Mahendra Chetram said, “I looked out my window and I saw the girl across the street taking pictures of the live wire sparking near my car, so I ran outside to move my car. Her body was gyrating, smoke was coming from her.”
Andrea, 13, was found dead in the remains of her Staten Island home, which was reduced to rubble during the storm. Her mother is in critical condition and her father is still missing.
Our thoughts are with all the victims of Hurricane Sandy and their families during this tragic time.
– Billy Nilles
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