Tommy O'Niell

Courtesy of "A Tribute to Tommy" GoFundMe fundraiser

Thomas O’Neill, a rising senior who was majoring in industrial systems engineering at Virginia Tech, passed away due to a car accident on I-81 in Pennsylvania late at night on May 19, 2019. He was 20 years old.

According to his GoFundMe page, which is meant to be a tribute to O’Neill’s life as well as a way to help his family, O’Neill was on his way home to Albany, New York, after the spring semester ended. A tractor-trailer crossed over a median into oncoming traffic, causing the accident. .

According to a WDBJ article, the tractor-trailer hit two cars, but the driver of the tractor-trailer and the people inside the second vehicle have no reported injuries.

The GoFundMe page, created by Angela Rae Sperlunto, said that O’Neill “carried a certain aura that made others stop and listen, a certain presence that could never be matched.”

“Tommy taught others what it meant to be loved, what it meant to be yourself, and what it meant to disregard what others thought,” the page said. “He was a source of knowledge, comfort, and laughter for all in need, no matter the time or place. Tommy was able to show people what it meant to truly dedicate yourself to others, be there for one another, and to never give up.”

For more information about O’Neill’s memory, refer to the obituary.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

News staff writer and staff photographer

Tahreem Alam is a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with majors in multimedia journalism and international relations. She spends endless hours watching proper ways to take care of cats, even though she has yet to adopt one.

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