January 27, 2005

Kristina Goes Home A Bride of Tragedy

Newsmax laughed heartily when a Chappaquiddick-like tragedy struck us a couple of days ago. I can't believe I still have them as my IE Homepage...

For the unintiated: In local news: Kristina Kalganova will fly back to her native Russia in a wedding gown.

This is how the 21-year-old Russian expatriate's parents, Larisa and Valeri Kalganova [sic. The masculine form would be "Kalganoff" - TS], want to see their tragedy-struck daughter for the last time.


Please read this Link. Kristina came to America as an exchange student at the prodding of her on-line friend Jane. She lived with Jane's mom right here in Bridgeport.

Apparantly, she didn't pick her boyfriends very well 'cause she drowned in a pond in Stamford a few days ago because Lucky Loaiza abandoned her when she needed him most.

Kristina Kalganova died horribly on Jan. 15. Her boyfriend, Francisco Loaiza of Stratford, stands accused of manslaughter with a motor vehicle in connection with her death in a car sinking to the bottom of a Stamford pond.

Friends of the nearly penniless Kalganova have rallied to raise money to send her remains home. A Stamford woman whose husband died in the World Trade Center disaster of 2001 is among the major benefactors.

A pledge drive began to send the girl's remains home so her parents could see her one last time.

And she's going home; escorted by her friend Jane.

The most difficult part for Jane Oleksy will come Friday night. That's when she boards a flight at Kennedy International Airport in New York to bring Kristina home.

Meeting her best friend's parents is likely to be especially awkward. Though she's spoken to them before, this will be the first time they'll meet face-to-face. Over Kristina's silver-toned casket.

"Kristina would say she'd want me to come to Russia with her and visit her family. But it's bad to meet them like this," Jane Oleksy said. "But this is the least I can do for her and her family. I wouldn't want somebody else to go with her. That's not even a question for me."

Posted by Tuning Spork at January 27, 2005 12:53 AM

People laughed about this? Are you kidding? What a shame, all the way around.

Posted by: RP at January 27, 2005 12:30 PM

Well, "laughed at" is pretty strong. I went back and re-read the Newsmax item. I guess I thought of it as "laughing at" the tragedy because Newsmax used it as a way to barb Ted Kennedy over Chappaquiddick. It struck me as "making light of" Kristina's awful death. Here's the item:

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005 1:42 p.m. EST Kennedy Imitator Charged With Manslaughter

A Connecticut man has been charged with manslaughter after abandoning his girlfriend to drown in an case with eerie similarities to one of the most notorious episodes in modern American political history.

"Francisco Loaiza, 29, was charged with manslaughter with a motor vehicle in the death of the 21-year-old woman, a Russian exchange student whose name was withheld," reports the Associated Press.

Borrowing a page from Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick scandal, police say Loaiza crashed his 1995 Nissan through a guard rail bordering Stamford's Holly Pond on Saturday. The vehicle sank to the bottom, with Loaiza's girlfriend trapped inside.
Loaiza attempted to flee the scene, allegedly leaving her to drown, but was apprehended - still soaking wet - by police.

In the 1969 episode, Sen. Kennedy managed to elude capture after driving his late-model Oldsmobile off Martha's Vineyard's Edgartown Bridge, leaving staffer Mary Jo Kopechne drowning inside.

Kennedy later claimed he dove into the water several times in a futile effort to save Kopechne. He then went to a local hotel, where he reportedly considered blaming the accident on his cousin, Joseph Garghan.

Unfortunately for Mr. Loaiza, he isn't a powerful Democratic senator, and will therefore be prosecuted to the maximum extent allowed by law.

It just seems exploitive to me.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 27, 2005 12:49 PM
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