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Alexandra Cunavelis, who was one of three CU students involved in a car accident over the weekend, is currently in recovery at the St. Anthony Central hospital in Denver.
The two other CU freshmen in the car with Cunavelis, Brooke Riemer and Haley Hajek, were killed in the car accident. Hajek was driving the car and Cunaveils and Riemer were passengers.
The crash occurred on Colorado 93 in Jefferson County on Saturday afternoon. The state patrol said that a Nissan was northbound on 93 when the driver lost control and spun into oncoming traffic. A Chevy Equinox that was heading southbound collided with the Nissan on the passenger side, according to the Associated Press.
The CU students were riding in the Nissan. The occupants of the Equinox survived the crash but were hospitalized with serious injuries, according to the Associated Press.
Alexandra Cunavelis, known to her friends as Alie, is a 19-year-old open option major. She is recovering from injuries sustained from the accident, said friends Paige Klumb and Maria Klionsky.
Klumb, an 18-year-old freshman pre-journalism major, and Klionsky, an 18-year-old freshman open-option major are both good friends of the girls involved in the accident and have visited Cunavelis multiple times as she recovers.
The girls were residents of Darley South in Williams Village.
“I was shocked at how much if affected people,” Klumb said. “I don’t think it hit me that they had touched so many lives so fast.”
Klumb said she had known Riemer since before high school. They both grew up in East Troy, Wis.
“Brooke was the most alive person that I have ever met,” she said. “I don’t know one person that didn’t like her. She wanted too much out of life.”
Klumb said that Riemer would have acknowledged that the accident happened for a reason, although it was tragic.
“I know she would be able to accept that her life was taken at such a young age because she knows that there was a greater reason for it,” she said.
Hajek was originally from Valley, Al. and had an accent that made her stick out in a crowd, said Klionsky.
“She had a really thick southern accent which I loved and imitated,” Klionsky said.
She said she had been a friend of Hajek’s since the beginning of their time at CU where they met at orientation. She described Hajek as an intelligent student that stayed up for hours studying for classes and working hard.
“People would get so thrown off because she was a pretty southern girl but she was actually a physics major and would stay up all night studying,” Klionsky said. “She wanted to be in NASA.”
The deaths have been hard to grasp for the close friends and family of the girls, said Klumb and Klionsky.
“I don’t think it has really hit me yet,” Klionsky said. “I cannot even imagine not seeing Haley and Brooke anymore. Our immediate group of friends is a wreck, none of us can focus in school.”
The friends of Hajek and Reimer said they are looking for positives despite the tragedy.
“It is amazing to see that the girls were so impactful [sic] on people,” Klumb said. “I think already, people are feeling closer because of it.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Chelsea Barrett at Chelsea.firstname.lastname@example.org.