Mother remembers daughter, 22, who died in Henrico crash
Recent college grad ‘made a positive impact on so many’
Caroline LoNigro had recently graduated from college and was about to start a new job when she was killed in a car crash in Henrico County.
The collision occurred on Oct. 17 at 5:37 p.m. at the intersection of Patterson Avenue and Lauderdale Drive.
LoNigro’s mother, Michelle LoNigro, lives just three minutes down the street. Driving separately, they were headed to meet at a friend’s home, but Caroline took a detour to pick up another friend.
“I turned right and she turned left,” Michelle LoNigro said.
Henrico police said that as Caroline LoNigro was turning from Lauderdale onto Patterson, a Chevrolet Silverado traveling west on Patterson Avenue ran a red light and struck her 2020 Hyundai Elantra. The new car had been a graduation gift from her grandparents, according to Michelle LoNigro.
The Silverado’s driver, Christian Hyman, 18, of Henrico County, was charged with reckless driving, Henrico police said in a statement released Monday. Neither speed nor alcohol were considered contributing factors in this crash.
Michelle LoNigro said her daughter, who was interested in criminal and social justice, “would not want this to ruin his life.”
“He made a mistake,”
Michelle LoNigro said. “I pray for his family, and for him.”
Michelle LoNigro said she’s trying to focus on the life Caroline lived and how her memory might live on.
“Caroline was 22 years full of life,” Michelle LoNigro said. “Even though she was the youngest, she held our family together. She was a go-getter.”
A 2016 graduate of John R. Tucker High School, she graduated from Penn State University in May and had landed a job at Accenture, though the pandemic kept pushing the start date, Michelle LoNigro said. She was slated to start nine days after she was killed.
On breaks from school, Caroline returned to work several jobs she’d had since high school: at Athleta in Short Pump Town Center and at Crunch Fitness’ West End location.
“Members and staff both looked forward to when she was home, she had a magnetic and charismatic energy you could
not ignore,” the gym’s staff posted in amemorial to Caroline on its Facebook page. “She was brilliant, driven, and made a positive impact on so many lives. She will be dearly missed by everyone who knew her.”
Michelle LoNigro said friends, colleagues and even folks who barely knew Caroline, but were nonetheless touched by her, have reached out to share their fond memories of her daughter.
“Every day I get reached out to, it’s like a gift,” she said. “That’s her still living through others. Caroline is still working up there.”
LoNigro is survived by her parents, Glen and Michelle LoNigro; siblings, Charlie and Heather LoNigro; grandparents, Susan and Charles White and Virginia LoNigro; aunt, Laura Brady; uncle, Tommy LoNigro; and cousin, Julia Bird.