More Than 400 Say Last Goodbye To Accident Victim

Glenelg High 16-year-old Remembered For Her Smile

March 04, 1992|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff writer

A picture of a smiling Jenny Olson -- dressed in full drill team uniform -- was placed among a dozen other photos of the teen-ager at theChapelgate Presbyterian Church yesterday.

And that is what friends, family and neighbors who came to say goodbye to her one last time say they will remember: her smile.

"Jenny was never without a smile," said Alex Pagnotta, her brother-in-law. "She would smile at the worst and best situations."

Morethan 400 people attended memorial services for the 16-year-old Glenelg High School junior, one of two students who died Friday night in atwo-car accident at routes 32 and 144.

Services for her classmate, Deann Perry, 16, of Cooksville, were also yesterday, in New Jersey,and some Glenelg classmates drove there to attend. Deanna had transferred to Glenelg from New Jersey in November.

Another passenger, 16-year-old Joanna Tammaro of Cooksville, was injured in the crash andattended Jenny's funeral in a wheelchair.

Most of the junior class attended the local service. Some wore drill team jackets, and others brought yellow and white roses to toss onto her casket at the cemetery.

"Jenny taught me how to laugh, be sarcastic and be myself," said Heather Edwards, a friend since eighth grade, who spoke during the one-hour service.

Pagnotta said Jenny lived life to the fullest,knowing what she had was good and enjoying every moment of it. Each year he would tease Jenny about school. "Wow, Jenny, you're a freshman, and recently, wow, you're an upperclassman," he said. "Others would shrug it off, but not Jenny. She would smile and giggle ear-to-ear because she knew these were exciting times.

"She met each new experience with such excitement," he told the mourners.

The intersection where the accident occurred has been the site of numerous other collisions, said Battalion Chief Donald Howell. Almost three years ago,Glenelg cheerleader Debbie Gasch died in a car accident there, and apassenger in her car remained in a coma for six weeks. A left-turn traffic light was installed as a result.

Last weekend's accident remains under investigation. Jenny and the driver of the other car, 17-year-old Dominic Palacorolla of Glenelg, each apparently tried to beat a yellow light, police said.

Jenny, who was driving north on Route 32, pulled into the path of Dominic's southbound Chevrolet Camaro as she attempted a left turn on Route 144. Her car, a two-door Mazda,flipped over and landed in an embankment. Dominic escaped without serious injury. His passenger, Andrew N. Kissinger, remained in stable condition yesterday at Howard County General Hospital. Both boys are 17-year-old seniors at Glenelg.

Friends say Jenny would have been captain of the drill team next year. She loved horses, raising, training and riding them since she was young. She won numerous silver cupsand blue-ribbon awards at county and state 4-H competitions.

"Shehad her years of not winning them, too," said her mother, Stephanie Olson. But her daughter always had a positive outlook, she said. She'd encourage younger riders who lost at competitions, telling them to keep it up.

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