It was supposed to be a time of celebration and new beginnings for Anna Mirabai Lytton. A 14-year-old Springs resident, Anna was just a week away from her graduation from Springs School. She'd just started a summer job at her mother's yoga studio in Amagansett and was set to enter the ninth grade at Ross School this fall.
For kids her age, it's supposed to be a time of graduation parties and summer fun, with all the exciting possibilities of a high school career laid out before them.
But Anna will be denied all those things. She died Saturday after she was struck while riding her bicycle on Montauk Highway near Gay Lane in East Hampton Village.
Over the weekend, as family and friends gathered at her parents' home to offer sympathy and support, officials at Springs School composed their own statements of condolence.
"Anna was a student who always brought a smile to everyone's face," Springs School Principal Eric Casale wrote in a letter to the school community posted in the district website. "She was a gentle soul who cared so much for others. Whether you were her friend, her classmate or an adult, Anna always greeted you with a smile and a friendly and genuine 'hello.' Her smile was infectious to the point that when you saw Anna smile, you could not help but join her. That was the type of person Anna was and will always be remembered as."
He continued, "Anna loved her family and her friends. She was always the one who would be around to support her classmates when they needed it. She was a bright, shining star in our hallways that made all of us who knew her better because she brought out the best in people. Anna loved art and was a wonderful writer."
Superintendent Dominic Mucci also offered a statement, reminding parents that the school has a crisis team in place to assist students who may need counseling.
On Monday afternoon Anna's family circulated an email, designed to share the "terrible and tragic news."
"Anna was a remarkable young woman whose shining light continues to burn in our hearts," family members said.
The accident occurred at about 1:25 PM on Saturday in East Hampton Village. Anna was travelling west on Montauk Highway, when she attempted to cross over the roadway near the CVS drug store. She was struck by a 2002 Ford Explorer driven by Maria Brennan, 73, of East Hampton. According to Village Police Chief Jerry Larsen the point of impact was the center of the front hood of the Explorer. Anna was pinned underneath the vehicle, which continued moving along the road for about 20 feet before stopping. She wasn't wearing a helmet.
Good Samaritans at the scene, about a half dozen of them, lifted the vehicle off the child. She was taken by ambulance to the East Hampton Airport, then medivacced to University Hospital at Stony Brook. "She died soon afterwards despite all the medical efforts to save her life. Her mother Kate and brother James were with her when she passed away peacefully in her mother's arms," the family's statement reports.
Montauk Highway was closed for over three hours as police conducted an investigation into the fatal MVA. The vehicle was impounded for a safety inspection and Brennan was issued a citation at the scene for "failure to exercise due care."
Anna is survived by her mother Kate Rabinowitz, her father Rameshwar Das, and her brother James Lytton. Much of the family, including Anna's grandparents Alan and Andrea Rabinowitz are with them in East Hampton, as are four aunts and uncles.
As of press time, memorial arrangements were not finalized.
See page 40 for a memorial essay written by her parents.