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Commack native, 28, killed in Tampa crash; outpouring of support for family

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Friends and family on Thursday will gather in Commack to mourn the passing of a 28-year-old Commack native killed last weekend in a car crash in Tampa, Florida.

Described as a “powerful force of kindness, beauty and strength,” Emily Koutsoliontos, who had been living in Tampa, died on Saturday. The community has since contributed nearly $40,000 to a fundraiser to offset funeral and burial expenses, including bringing Koutsoliontos back to New York.

Visitation services are scheduled for Thursday, June 27, at Branch Funeral Home from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The funeral home is located at 2115 Jericho Turnpike in Commack. A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, June 28, at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, 2 Indian Head Road in Commack.

“Emily was a powerful force of kindness, beauty, and strength,” wrote Linda Pollack, who established the GoFundMe page for Koutsoliontos’ family. “Her laughter was contagious, her smile was infectious and her heart was always so welcoming.”

Pollack noted that the fundraiser aims “to help the Koutsoliontos family with this unexpected and unimaginable financial hardship.”

Authorities told Fox13 in Tampa that the crash that killed Koutsoliontos happened just before 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Fox13 reported that Florida Department of Transportation traffic cameras captured images of the crash. Koutsoliontos was a passenger in a Volkswagen Jetta that was stopped at a red light, when it was struck from behind by another car, causing the Jetta to flip.

Court documents indicate, Fox13 reported, that the driver of the vehicle that hit Koutsoliontos’ car could be charged with DUI manslaughter. Tampa police said they are awaiting toxicology results.

“She loved the job. She loved her new life in Florida. She loved her roommate, her apartment. She was just living life to the fullest down there,” Nick Koutsoliontos, Emily’s father, said in a Fox13 report.

Koutsoliontos’ mother Michele added, “Oh, my goodness. She was a beautiful person inside and out. She loved life.”

Nick Koutsoliontos said his daughter was supposed to be the maid of honor at her cousin’s wedding in two months, and that a bachelorette party was scheduled for this upcoming weekend.

Below is a Fox13 news video report about Koutsoliontos and the Tampa accident she was involved in.

In addition to her parents, Koutsoliontos is survived by her sister Grace and her brother Kevin.

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