JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --More than a hundred candles were lit at University of North Florida to celebrate the life of a Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister who died in a New Year's Day accident.
Dara Kusiv, 20, was killed in a single car accident on New Year's Day when the truck she was riding in went off the road and hit an overhead sign.
"I know she's smiling down on us to see all of her sisters, friends and peers in attendance," said Jacob Materia, a survivor of the crash and Kusiv's boyfriend.
Materia is still recovering along with two other passengers, but Saturday, wearing a neck brace, he stood next to Kusiv's father at the UNF amphitheater.
"Dara loved being a sorority sister and just really loved UNF and now I know even more why that was," said Randy Kusiv.
The sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha along with several fraternities organized a candlelight vigil to say a few things about their sister and allow the entire Greek life community to mourn her, but also remember her for who she was.
"Obviously we miss her, obviously we love her, but we want to remember her in a better light than just that she's just not here; just more of the good memories that we have with her so that's what we're focusing on," said Madison Proctor, Chapter President of Zeta Tau Alpha at UNF.
One by one candles were lit and words were said. Sorority sisters spoke about Kusiv's accomplishments, how she was a sophomore honors student majoring in accounting and how she was extremely involved in her sorority.
"Always the first person to raise her hand and she was just so upbeat, so great, but her dancing was amazing. That's the first thing I always think about," added Proctor.
Just this Monday Kusiv was laid to rest in her hometown of Longwood, Florida. Besides thanking the UNF community for its support, Kusiv's father had a request.
"There's three other people that were in that accident that night and I want you to continue to pray for them to heal," said the victim's father.
The driver, Sean Franke has since been released from the hospital and is recovering. Samantha Kasten, another passenger and also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha is still at Shands hospital, reportedly in fair condition. No charges have been filed.
First Coast News