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Jeffny Pally

UConn student’s family begs judge to block release of death video

A newspaper is fighting for access to the video, but the grieving family does not want it made public

The parents of a slain University of Connecticut student are asking a judge to block the release of surveillance video showing her fatally struck by a university fire vehicle.

Jeffny Pally, 19, was killed on October 16 just after 1 a.m. while sleeping against the school’s fire station bay door, according to WFSB. When the door opened, the sophomore fell backward and was run over by a Chevy Tahoe responding to a call—which turned out to be a false alarm.

The medical examiner determined Pally succumbed to blunt force trauma to the head and torso. The teen’s death was ruled an accident.

Last week, according to News 8, the nursing student’s parents, Abraham and Shinymol Chemmarappally (sometimes shortened to “Pally”), made a request to a Hartford judge to block the distribution of the surveillance video, arguing that the unsettling footage would cause their already grieving family further anguish.

As Crime Online previously reported, six UConn students were arrested on February 24 for allegedly serving the 19-year-old alcohol at their frat party the night she died. Of the six students, Patrick Callahan, 21, Matthew Moll, 21, Dylan Morose, 22, and Jonathan Polansky, 22, were charged with eight counts of permitting a minor to illegally possess alcohol, according to NBC News Connecticut.

“The investigation has just begun,” Shinymol Pally told NBC News. “We are hoping the truth will come out. I hope this does not happen to any other child and no other family has to go through this suffering.”

The Hartford Courant reported that they requested the video under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) but were denied on the basis that its release would compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. The newspaper renewed their request following the arrests—leading Pally’s family to file the motion for a protective order.

Abraham and Shinymol reportedly also filed a lawsuit against the campus fire department driver and the state on February 2 for “negligence and carelessness.”

“There remain many unanswered questions regarding her death,” their attorney, Michael J. Walsh, said in a statement. “It is the sincere hope of the Chemmarappallys that the investigation of this tragic event may be the first step towards the development of measures to prevent any other family from having to experience a similar tragedy.”

 

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