We're saddened to report that a dear friend to both animals and PETA, Cynthia Long, recently passed away after what appears to have been a terrible, tragic accident.
Cynthia and her lifelong friend were returning from a gardening class when they drove past a cat who was stuck on a median, too frightened to cross in front of traffic. Knowing that the cat desperately needed help, they exited the interstate and turned the car around. Cynthia emerged from the car but as she tried to cross the passing lane, she was struck by another motorist. She died at the scene and investigators believe that both the glare from the setting sun and a bend in the road impaired the other driver's ability to see Cynthia until it was too late.
State Trooper Kurt Wagenbach told the Brattleboro Reformer "She was trying to do something out of the goodness of her heart, and it had tragic consequences." Another officer noted that, although the police have received calls about the cat, the animal has not yet been found.
Our deepest condolences go out to Cynthia's family and friends, and for her unwavering determination to help animals, we're honoring her posthumously with PETA's Compassionate Citizen Award. We're also adding a leaf in her name to our "Tree of Life", believing that her commitment to animal protection will inspire other people to always take action to help them, too.