Tragedy struck for two junior UC Davis students on Friday May 8. Eunice Park, a junior communication major, died in a car crash while driving home to Los Angeles to surprise her parents for Mother’s Day. She brought along friend and roommate Jackie Garayar.
In Nees, Calif. just outside of Fresno, at around 4 p.m on I-5, Park lost control of her vehicle white changing lanes, flipping over into incoming traffic. It took paramedics roughly 30 minutes to get to the scene, where she was pronounced brain dead. Park was then air-lifted to the Fresno Community Hospital and put on life support.
On May 11, Park, passed away. She was 21. Garayar, a Spanish major, underwent two surgeries but is expected to fully recover.
Friends described Park as a fun-loving, popular and social person with a bubbly personality.
“She was one of the most popular people I had the honor of knowing in my whole life,” said Lilly Mohanna, junior international relations major. “She put a smile on everyone’s face and would turn the gloomiest of situations into something positive.”
Trish Campillo describes herself as Park’s second mother, having known her for about 14 years through Campillo’s daughter and Park’s best friend, Marissa. Campillo said that Park used to call her M.O.M, or “my other mother.”
“She was like my little protégée, we used to have so much fun together, always laughing together,” Campillo said. “Some of the best times that I’ve ever had were with the three of us.”
Campillo said that Park was also popular at her high school, Bishop Montgomery in Torrance, CA.
“It was her job to read the announcements everyday to the whole school,” Campillo said. “To say that she was popular is an understatement, she was a little celebrity.”
Campillo said Park was also very giving and generous. She described a situation in which she convinced her high school principle to give another classmate a full ride scholarship in order for her to stay at school.
Park’s generosity continued even in death. Her heart “finally made it to Stanford,” a school that her parents had dreamed of her going to. Her kidneys went to Texas and San Diego and her liver was also donated.
“She saved lives across the country,” Campillo said.
Campillo knew that Park was coming down for the weekend and had urged her to fly down. But Park decided to drive in order to drop off Garayar since she knew that she too wanted to go home that weekend.
Her other roommate Amanda Vogel, senior biological sciences major, said that she met Park last year and got along really well with her.
“She is the best roommate I ever had. She was really fun to be around,” Vogel said.
Vogel said Park enjoyed watching the Lakers game on television at home in their apartment. Mohanna said that Park loved UC Davis and was always a dedicated Aggie fan. Her favorite sport to watch was basketball.
Park’s funeral was held this past weekend on Sunday May 17 at Rose Hills Memorial Park. Since Park’s favorite color was pink, attendees were asked by the family to wear something pink to the service.
ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at email@example.com.