Remembering 18-Year-Old Killed in Hit & Run | News
AMHERST, N.Y.- After her funeral, Matt Cioppi couldn't help but stop by the Heim Road location where his former co-worker and friend, 18-year-old Alexandria Rice, died Friday night.
"It was good to see a lot of support for her, and see all the people that really cared about her, and she would have really loved to see all the people there," said Cioppi.
Earlier Tuesday morning, hundreds of people honored her memory by attending a service at Beach Tuyn Funeral Home in Williamsville.
And if she had been there-- Cioppi says Rice would have been the one encouraging people to smile through their tears.
"Even if she didn't know you, she would go up to you and try to make you feel better, if you looked in a bad mood, she would go up to you and give you a hug or try to make you feel better," said Cioppi.
Meanwhile investigators continue to piece together the crash that killed the teenager, known by many for her artistic talent.
Dr. James Corasanti, a prominent Buffalo Gastroenterologist is accused of hitting her with his BMW around 11:30 Friday night. Corasanti pleaded not guilty to charges of DWI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Amherst Police are still looking for information about Corasanti's activities that evening. Authorities would not say where they believe he was coming from or whether there was anyone else in the car with him.
Amherst Police Captain Patrick McKenna said Corasanti, "made himself available" to police at a gas station on Millersport Highway about an hour and a half after the crash occurred.
Police also say Corasanti would not answer investigators' questions, refused to provide a blood sample for testing, and was not given a field sobriety test.
But for friends and family, whatever questions remain, there is one thing that is certain: Rice's smile and sunny outlook on life will be missed.