This story is courtesy of our sister station WTNH in New Haven, CT.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- State police say good Samaritan Lauren Mohr stopped to help a car involved in a hit-and-run, then lost her life after falling off a bridge on I-91 Thursday morning.
“She always put other people’s needs before her own. She was all about being there for other people. That was just her,” said Barcelona manager Bart Maldonado. “It sounds just like her as far as just being there, and that’s the way that she was. That was her spirit. That was her life passion to help people.”
Mohr had just left work at Barcelona in New Haven when police say two cars ahead of her hit each other and one took off. Mohr, who served in the Air Force and had trained as a medical technician, stopped to help the car that had pulled over in the right lane. Snow still sat in the breakdown lane. Police say they don’t know what transpired, but somehow she fell off of a 40-foot bridge and died.
“We’re not really sure what lead up to her falling over. Was it a car coming at them? We don’t know. That’s part of the investigation,” said Connecticut State Police Trooper Kelly Grant.
According to her stepmother, Joan Mohr, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid at Quinnipiac University, Lauren called 911 and was waiting with the hit-and-run victims for help to arrive. The troopers were unclear as to the reason she stepped backward on the bridge. They are speculating that perhaps another car was driving too close along the edge, and she slipped on the snow and ice.
“Lauren was courageous and optimistic, and had faced a lot of challenges in her life, which made her a caring and wise person,” said Joan and Lawrence Mohr in a statement. “Friends and family would seek her advice and she will be remembered as our hero.”
Lauren’s Wallingford neighbors were devastated by the loss.
“My daughters would go out there and say ‘Mommy, I’m going to go play with Lauren,’ and now there’s no Lauren,” said her neighbor Jennifer Cruz. “Lauren was our lifesaver around here. I believe that she was the helper because that’s how she is.”
Lauren worked two jobs. Not only did she work at Barcelona serving tables at night, she was a temporary aide in the undergraduate admissions office at Quinnipiac University.
Late Thursday afternoon, Quinnipiac University vice president of public affairs Lynn Bushnell issued a statement on the loss of Lauren:
The University community was saddened to learn of the death of Lauren Mohr, who worked as a temporary aide in the Undergraduate Admissions office at Quinnipiac University. Lauren was the daughter of Lawrence Mohr and step-daughter of Joan Mohr, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid at Quinnipiac. The University would like to extend its sincerest condolences to the Mohr family and ask that you continue to keep Lauren’s family and her many friends in your thoughts and prayers.
At Barcelona she took several under her wing.
“She was kind of like the mom to our younger kids here and just a kind wonderful soul,” said Maldonado. “I know the staff is very devastated.”
Lauren Germain, who has been a close friend of Lauren’s for several years, contacted News 8 when she heard what had happened. Germain offered these thoughts about her friend.
She taught me how to be more open-minded and see the world in a more positive light. She was very giving with everything that she had and never had any expectations of anything in return. She valued friendship and family above anything else. She spoke ever so highly of her sister Arwin and truly looked up to her while striving to be the mother that she was one day. I personally do not feel that I would be at the place in my life at which I am, if it had not been for my crossing paths with hers. Anyone that was close to Lauren, knew that her true other half was her cat Bucky. Bucky meant the absolute world to her and in some ways they were one anothers soul mates, as strange as that may sound. It breaks my heart to have to write to you about the passing of such a kindred spirit. Just once again proving how short lived and precious life can be. I am sure that there is much more to say, but honestly I am in complete shock about this entire situation and am having difficulty finding the right words to use.
Lauren’s parents say two state troopers notified them of her death at about 4 a.m. Thursday. The family has contacted the New England Organ Donor Bureau so that any donations she may make can help others.
In addition to her father and stepmother, Lauren leaves behind her sister, Arwen, and her family (husband Nate, nephew Cole and niece Eowyn, ages 4 and 1 1/2) in Martinez, Calif., her mother, Diana, in Maryland, and her beloved cat, Bucky.
Lauren’s funeral arrangements have not been finalized.