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Brittney Schulman, victim of Cutchogue limo crash, was 'like a shining star'

Family members follow behind the casket of Brittney

Family members follow behind the casket of Brittney M. Schulman, following her funeral Mass at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Kings Park on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Schulman, 23, of Smithtown, and three other women died in a limo crash in Cutchogue. Photo Credit: John Roca

Brittney Schulman's life was "effervescent, gregarious, bubbly" and "sparkling like a shining star," Father Sean Gann told mourners gathered Thursday for her funeral Mass, the second service in as many days at St. Joseph's Church in Kings Park for one of four victims of a fatal crash in Cutchogue last weekend.

Schulman, 23, of Smithtown, and three friends -- Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown, Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park, and Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack -- were killed Saturday when a pickup truck broadsided their limo as it made a U-turn on Route 48 during their wine country outing.

Schulman graduated from SUNY Cortland last year and wanted to work in public relations in the fashion industry.

"It's going to take a long time to be able to wrestle with and to be able to deal and cope with the absence of someone who brought so much to the lives of other people," Gann told mourners at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Roman Catholic Church.

He said Saturday's tragedy was a "darkness" that covered Long Island "because all anyone seems to be able to speak about or enter a conversation about are the events of last Saturday."

Gann continued, "Even for people who didn't know these four young beautiful girls, you can't help but feel brokenhearted for their parents, their families and those who knew them best."

After the service ended, six pallbearers carried Schulman's coffin out of the church with somber relatives and loved ones behind, some wiping tears.

A wake for Belli is planned Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. at St. James Funeral Home in St. James. Her funeral is at 11:30 a.m. Friday, also at St. Joseph's.

Joelle M. Dimonte, 25, of Elwood, Alicia Arundel, 24, of Setauket, Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn, and Melissa Angela Crai, 23, of Scarsdale, who were also in the limo, survived but suffered injuries in the crash that nearly split the limo in two.

Police said a suspected drunken driver, Steven Romeo, 55, of Southold, broadsided the limo carrying the eight passengers on Saturday in Cutchogue as the limo driver attempted to make a U-turn on Route 48.


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