Hilbert mourns hit-and-run victim
Hilbert mourns hit-and-run victim By Jay Rey News Staff Reporter
The students gathered around a young flowering pear tree, freshly planted next to a pond, in memory of one of their own.
The planting and memorial service were held Monday afternoon at Hilbert College for Meghan Sorbera, the 19-year-old Hilbert student who was killed during the early morning hours of Oct. 18 in a hit-and-run accident on South Park Avenue.
More than 250 people from the Hamburg college and local community showed up to pay their respects.
“We feel like we have extended family now,” said Sorbera’s father, Peter.
Sorbera and his wife, Susan, made the trip to Hamburg from their home in Burlington Flats, near Cooperstown, where funeral services for their daughter were held Friday.
After Monday’s memorial at Hilbert, the Sorberas talked to reporters about living through the tragedy of the previous 11 days.
“I hope no one has to experience this — ever, ever, ever,” Peter Sorbera said. “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Their daughter wasn’t even supposed to be in Hamburg the night she was struck and killed while walking back to campus with friends after working at a haunted house on the Erie County Fairgrounds.
“She was supposed to come home that weekend,” her mother said.
“But this is where she wanted to be,” her father said.
The Sorberas didn’t want to say a lot about the case against John P. Duffy, the 41-year-old lawyer from Orchard Park charged with leaving the scene of the fatal crash.
But they raved about the detective work by Hamburg police that led to Duffy’s arrest. They described themselves as relieved that someone has been charged and said they would become vocal advocates for stronger punishment for drivers in hit-and-run cases.