A former University of Tennessee student died Wednesday morning from the injuries she sustained in a car accident four days earlier.
Kelly Gilmore, a sophomore in arts and sciences and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, lost control of her car last Saturday night near her home in Texas.
Gilmore left UT for a semester to live with her parents, who had recently moved to Texas. She was planning to return to UT in the fall.
Gilmore was rushed to a hospital after her accident and was taken into surgery because both of her lungs had collapsed, according to Lucas Neely, a close friend of Gilmore's and a freshman in arts and sciences. Doctors suspected Gilmore had brain damage caused by oxygen loss, he said, and was transferred to the intensive care unit, where she remained in a coma. Gilmore died on Wednesday morning.
Gilmore's friends recalled her fondly.
"There will never, ever be another Kelly Gilmore," Neely said. "It's like God sent her here to make people enjoy life."
Members of ZTA remembered Gilmore during a candlelight ceremony Thursday in Panhellenic.
"Kelly could light up the room, light up your heart and light up your life in only seconds of knowing her," said Kalyn Little, a junior in public relations and a member of ZTA. "She defined charisma."
Turquoise ribbons were given out at the ceremony for chapter members to wear in honor of Gilmore.
"God blessed us by putting Kelly in our lives," said Rebecca Lobb, a senior in arts and sciences and a ZTA member. "Her sparkling personality impacted more people than she could imagine. We will never forget Kel's big turquoise eyes and big beautiful smile."
The funeral for Gilmore was held Saturday in Texas, but a memorial service will be held next weekend in Ohio, Gilmore's home state. Transportation by bus to Ohio from Knoxville will be arranged. For more information about transportation, e-mail Priscilla Simms, ZTA president, at psimms@utk.edu.