Crash victim graduated from Grafton High, Becker College -


A 22-year-old Sutton woman who was ejected from a car in a crash on Interstate 495 Saturday night has died.

A hospital spokeswoman and state police confirmed this morning that Jessica A. Jackman died yesterday. Ms. Jackman was one of two occupants of a Chevrolet Cobalt involved in a single-vehicle crash Saturday.

The other occupant, Shayne Safford, 26, of Worcester, remains hospitalized. Ms. Jackman was ejected from the vehicle and Mr. Safford was trapped inside, police said. The accident occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday in the northbound lane of Interstate 495, just south of Route 20.

Ms. Jackman graduated from Grafton High School and Becker College in Worcester.

“This is a sad day,” said James F. Pignataro, principal of Grafton High. “She was a great kid. This is a very sad day; Jessica was well-liked by teachers and classmates.”

Ms. Jackman graduated from Grafton High School in 2004, and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was captain of the softball team and the cheerleading squad. She was member of the ski club her senior year. Ms. Jackman was also a member of the high school’s Family and Community Leaders, a group that performs a wide-range of community service.

“She was involved in so many things at school,” Mr. Pagnataro said. “This is a small town, and a lot of people know her. Jessica connected with a lot of people.”

Ms. Jackman also connected with a lot of people when she attended Becker College for four years. She graduated with an associate’s degree in physical therapy science with high honors in 2006 and graduated cum laude with a bachelors of science in kinesiology in 2008.

“She was a wonderful student,” said Dolores Price, professor of exercise therapy. “I had her in my classes from the time she was a freshman… I placed her in her internship. Jessica always worked very hard and really understood that concept of lifelong learning – she loved to learn.”

Ms. Price said she valued Ms. Jackman as a student, for her hard work and contributions to all her classes throughout the years. She said Ms. Jackman was the “picture of fitness” and appreciated the importance of good diet and exercise.

“Jessica always had a lot of goals and she was driven toward the goal to get her degree,” Ms. Price said. “I could look at Jessica to be at the top of her class. She was such a good role model; this is heartbreaking.”

State police said the Chevrolet veered off the roadway and into the median before overturning. State police are still investigating the crash, including making a determination on who was driving the car. Ms. Jackman was airlifted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and Mr. Safford was airlifted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

He is in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said this morning.


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Author: By Linda Bock
Date: February 21, 2010