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Story Of Teen Killed By Car In Danbury Inspires Kindness As It Goes Viral

Rebecca Draper Townsend, 17, graduated this spring from Immaculate High School in Danbury.
Rebecca Draper Townsend, 17, graduated this spring from Immaculate High School in Danbury. Photo Credit: File

DANBURY, Conn. — A 17-year-old girl who was hit and killed by a car after a fireworks show in Danbury died while trying to save a friend, and in doing so, fulfilled the last item on her bucket list, according to a memorial Facebook page created by her family. 

Rebecca Draper Townsend, a resident of Brookfield and a 2015 graduate of Immaculate High School in Danbury, was killed on Lake Avenue in Danbury on July 2.  

The story has gone viral on Buzzfeed, where it has over 1.3 million views, and a Facebook page called Remembering Rebecca created by her family has more than 20,000 followers. 

According to the Facebook page, Rebecca’s sisters and cousins noticed a little note in the middle of her bed that said “For Future Rebecca Townsend.”

It was a bucket list Rebecca wrote as a class assignment as a sophomore that had been returned to her when she graduated. On her bucket list, she put: Kiss in the rain, Fly to Spain and Save a life. The post said she met all three goals, the last one on the night she died.  

Rebecca and her friend, Benjamin Arne, 17, were struck by a car that night. Ben was seriously injured and survived, but Rebecca died.

According to the Buzzfeed article, after Ben was released from the hospital, he visited her family and told them Rebecca had saved his life by pushing him away from the car. “He said, ‘The last thing I remember is Rebecca pushing me and telling me to hurry up,’” her sister said.

The family says it created the Facebook page so "people can share a memory or document ways they have kept Rebecca's spirit alive by showing kindness to others."

They are encouraging those who are interested to take part in acts of kindness and mark them #RememberingRebecca. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Rebecca Draper Townsend Memorial Fund, care of Immaculate High School, 73 Southern Blvd., Danbury, CT 06810. A portion of the proceeds will be allocated to the nonprofit "She's the First" to help educate girls in the developing world.

Read the Buzzfeed version of the story here and see the Remembering Rebeca Facebook page here

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