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obituaries

Beloved Hudson Valley Teacher ID'd As Fatality In Storm

Lauren Svendsen, 41
Lauren Svendsen, 41 Photo Credit: GoFundMe

A beloved Northern Westchester art teacher has been identified as one of the two Fairfield County residents killed during Tuesday's powerful storms that left a swath of destruction across the region.

Lauren Svendsen, 41, died when a tree fell on her car in New Fairfield around 5 p.m., on Brush Hill Road . Her 3-year-old daughter was also in the vehicle but was not injured, reported Connecticut State Trooper Sgt. Eric Haglund on Wednesday.

Although her name was not released by state police, North Salem Superintendent Kenneth Freeston announced her passing on Twitter.

"Lauren enriched the lives of each one of us. Together we can keep her kindness and love of teaching art alive. #keepartalive," Freeston tweeted early Thursday.

Svendsen worked as a fine arts teacher at North Salem Middle/High School, according to the school's website.

Freeston said grief counselors will be on hand at the middle/high school for students when the school reopens and a Facebook page has been set up for students to express their grief.

The school has postponed a Middle School/High School Instrumental Concert scheduled for Thursday until Wednesday, May 23.

Friends from Lauren's health studio, FitBody, have also set up a GoFundMe page to help her family cover funeral expenses.

Funeral services have not been announced.

Three other Hudson Valley residents were killed by downed trees during Tuesday's storm including an 11-year-old girl in Newburgh, an 80-year-old woman in Chestnut Ridge, and a 58-year-old woman in the Town of Newburgh.

A Danbury man was also killed by a falling tree while walking to his truck during the storm in the Candlewood Lake area.

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