Questions surround death of Sacred Heart grad, WKU student after - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Questions surround death of Sacred Heart grad, WKU student after fall

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Melanie Reichert Melanie Reichert

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Avett Brothers "I Would Be Sad" speaks to the heartbreak of a young love's end. Two years ago, Melanie Reichert, 19, posted a cover of it on YouTube; a quiet, yet confident rendition-prefaced with her apology for it being less than perfect. To friends, that's the beauty of it and of her.

"There's all kinds of stories I could tell you about," said Devan Hall, who met Reichert last year when both were freshmen at Western Kentucky University. "I didn't understand why you know my friend could be taken away so early. We're not supposed to die this young. "

Reichert died Sunday evening after suffering a fall at a Bowling Green home the night before. Friends told ambulance crews that Reichert slipped and the back of her head struck a concrete step.

"We're not calling it a suspicious situation, but we were unaware of her injuries until after she died," said Officer Ronnie Ward, public information officer for the Bowling Green Police Department.

Ward said an autopsy was performed in Louisville Monday. The results may not be known until the end of the week.

Hall said theatre, art, music and college parties drew her to Reichert. She now regrets that busier schedules had kept them from seeing more of each other recently.

"I only wish that I had made that time, that extra time to spend with the people I cared about, or who really mattered," Hall said. "I just feel like a lot of people my age feel like we're invincible and we're not. And we're not promised tomorrow."

Reichert graduated from Louisville's Sacred Heart Academy in 2012. In a high school known for superlatives, she stood out.

"We've brought in counselors the past two days, so that students can share their memories and their grief," said Michele McCauley, SHA communications director. "The family has asked for privacy, and we've respected that."

Friends have established at least two web sites to help Reichert's family pay medical expenses, and to benefit her favorite charities, according to Kayla Ryan, a friend from Western.

Reichert balanced part-time jobs with honors classes at Western, but made little mention of the challenge, said Jimmy Ferrell, owner of Fat Jimmy's, a pizzeria in Middletown.

"She was just a fantastic young lady," Ferrell told WAVE 3 News off-camera. "I was looking forward to having her back after the holidays."

Reichert is survived by her parents, Joseph and Kathleen Reichert, brothers Sean and Colin, and sister Valerie.

Visitation for Reichert will be November 21 and 22 at Ratterman Brothers Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road. Her funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Saint Patrick Catholic Church near Middletown.

"I want her family to know they raised a beautiful, remarkable young woman," Hall said. "They tell us you're supposed to live each day as if you'll die tomorrow. You never believe that, until it happens."

To donate toward for funeral expenses for Reichert, click one of the links below.

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