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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Moments before death, she saved others

In the final moments before her death, a 22-year-old Shrewsbury woman may well have saved the lives of others.

Meredith Marzilli grabbed the wheel of her father’s car after he suffered an apparent medical attack and swerved to avoid two vehicles Sunday morning.

‘‘She probably saved a few other people by taking the action she did,’’ said Westborough Police Chief Alan Gordon.

Anthony Marzilli, 57, was driving his daughter back to Northeastern University in Boston at the time of the accident, Gordon said. She was a senior at the School of Business.

Witnesses told police that Marzilli appeared to lose control of his 2004 Chevy Malibu as it traveled down Route 9 east near Research Drive in Westborough. It was later determined he suffered from a medical emergency, which Gordon said he could not divulge.

After avoiding a collision, the Chevy pulled into an off-ramp, hit a grassy area, rolled over, struck a guard rail, and flipped, ejecting Meredith Marzilli.

She was pronounced dead at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester shortly after the 9:48 a.m. crash.

Anthony Marzilli was conscious during and after the accident and suffered from non-life-threatening injuries, Gordon said.

Gordon said that Meredith Marzilli’s family told him that she always wore a seat belt. The chief said she must have unhooked it to take over the wheel. Had she been wearing it, she may not have been ejected from the car, he said. -- Jennifer Rosinksi

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