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Jordan Mahoney

Jordan Mahoney, 21, died Sunday night when a suspected drunk driver struck her as she rode her bike in south Flagstaff. Friends and classmates remember the NAU senior fondly and call her loss "devastating" and "tragic." Courtesy photo

Jordan Mahoney's smile could light up anyone's day.

That's how friends and classmates of the 21-year-old NAU student are remembering her in the wake of her death on Sunday night.

Mahoney was killed when a suspected drunk driver hit her while she was riding her bike in a south Flagstaff residential neighborhood.

A few candles and a lone flower marked the accident site on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old suspect has been arrested on charges of manslaughter and fleeing the scene of an accident.

"The university is shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Jordan," said university spokesperson Thomas Bauer. "It is always difficult to lose a member of the NAU family, and the circumstances surrounding Jordan's passing make it extremely upsetting."

Mahoney, a double major in English and psychology, was set to graduate in the spring semester. The university is making on-campus counseling available.

Family friends said that Mahoney's parents drove to Flagstaff on Monday from her hometown of San Jose, Calif. She graduated from Catholic Presentation High School in 2009.

EMBRACE THE CHAOS

Friends began leaving condolences for the family on an online obituary for Mahoney on Tuesday.

"While your passing is tragic, we can only take comfort in the fact that you are now in heaven and watching over us all," wrote Jennafer Lane of San Jose. "Your senior quote is tragically appropriate. 'Life is divine chaos. Embrace it.' We will love and remember you always."

A rosary, or set of prayers, was said for Mahoney at the Holy Trinity Catholic Newman Center on NAU campus Monday night, where she was a parishioner.

Pastor Brendan McGuire of Holy Spirit Church in San Jose broke the news to members of her family's church on Monday.

"Please give your loved ones a hug and kiss tonight," he said. "Remind them of your love for them and do not allow all the petty things of life to take a moment away from the joy of being alive. Life is too precious to waste."

Mahoney was an active member of that church, where she worked to organize youth Mass.

"She was a special young woman who will be dearly missed," McGuire said.

The priest described Mahoney as "the gem" of her parents' lives.

"This is a devastating loss for their family," he said.

Added McGuire: "She was a beautiful human being with a generous and open heart. She ministered to so many young people in our community and had an effervescent smile that would light up anybody's day."

GOING 60 MPH

Police have not released additional details of the collision, but witnesses told the Daily Sun that the truck was going at least 60 mph down Walapai Drive in the moments before the accident. By the time neighbors left their homes and reached the scene, the truck had already turned down a nearby street.

Flagstaff police officials said they arrested Kelsey Lou Cody of Flagstaff on charges of manslaughter and fleeing the scene of an injury or fatality accident. Investigators believe that alcohol was a factor in the incident.

She is being held in the Coconino County Detention Facility on $250,000 cash bond.

Eric Betz can be reached at 556-2250 or ebetz@azdailysun.com.

 


-- "Her beaming, smiling face is 100% Jordan! She means the world to us. We are so very, very proud of her. She touched many lives here at NAU and Flagstaff as we have learned since arriving Monday. Jordan is a true gift from God and is very special to our family, friends, classmates, and parishioners back home in San Jose."

Carol and Patrick Mahoney, the victim's parents, wrote in a message to the Daily Sun.

-- "I knew Jordan as a student in an upper division psychology class last semester. The class worked closely together and the group came to know each other well. Jordan was a good student and a wonderful person. She was positive, energetic and engaged. She approached every situation with an open-minded attitude and a willingness to learn and collaborate. She will be missed by many in the student and faculty communities. My heart goes out to her friends and family - this is a staggering loss for all."

Melissa Birkett, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Northern Arizona University

 

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