‘It was shattering’: family mourning loss of 25-year-old FSU student killed by alleged wrong-way driver

FSU Student Nora Cooney was killed following a crash involving an alleged wrong-way driver on...
FSU Student Nora Cooney was killed following a crash involving an alleged wrong-way driver on Highway 319.(WCTV)
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 10:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2021 at 9:22 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A bright light is gone for a Tallahassee family, mourning the death of 25-year-old Nora Cooney after a head-on collision in late September.

The tragedy left the family devastated and searching for answers.

According to the accident report, the incident happened around 4 a.m. on Sept. 25 on Highway 319 in Grady County near the Florida-Georgia line.

The report indicates the other driver involved in the crash was driving the wrong way down the highway.

For Nora’s sister Caitlin Patrick, she learned of the news in a life-changing Saturday morning phone call from her mom.

“It doesn’t feel real still, it’s almost like a piece of your day is missing because you don’t have that person to talk to...so it’s just like a whole piece of your whole life is gone,” she said.

Patrick said her sister followed a winding journey to achieve her dream of attending Florida State. Cooney earned an associates degree from community college before enrolling at FSU to earn a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

“She was very proud of herself for getting there and finishing it and doing what I’m sure a lot of people told her she never would do,” Patrick said.

In the ten days since, the heartache has been met with love and support from complete strangers. A GoFundMe page set up by a family friend has already raised several thousand dollars to help pay funeral expenses.

And Patrick was especially thankful for a group returning from a Bachelor’s party that night that came across the crash scene and tried to help.

“ [I] can’t be thankful enough to them. I don’t know how many people would go out of there way that much, to the point where they were really there with her the whole time,” she said.

While a new reality without Nora will never feel normal, Patrick said she can be thankful Nora made the most of her time on earth.

“Nora in 25 years lived more than most of us will in our 70 to 100 years. You couldn’t tell her no, she was unstoppable.”

Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the crash. According to the accident report, the other driver involved was a Tallahassee woman in her 30s. She was taken to the hospital for treatment following the crash.

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