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Giuriceo memorial held

Approximately 30 people gathered roadside on Abilene Road on Monday for a memorial of Brianna Giuriceo, 18, who died Aug. 17 in a single vehicle crash in the 3300 block of Abilene Road.

“We understand that you all are hurting too,” said Greg Giuriceo, father of Brianna, at the beginning of his remarks. “ … But I’d like to talk to you for a minute about my little girl, Brianna Faith Giuriceo … she was the most beautiful, most feisty little blonde-haired girl I’d ever seen,” Greg said while noticeably holding back tears.

He noted that last time he spoke to her was through text the day before her death.

“At that moment I didn’t know that it would mean that much at that point as it does today,” Greg said. “On the morning of Aug. 16, the day before her tragedy, I was working at Longwood (with) campus police, and I had texted her to check on her. I hadn’t seen her in a few days because she was staying with her friends. Coming home, with my schedule, it was kind of tough to spend a lot of time with her when she was spending a lot of time with friends getting ready for college.”

He said he wanted her to have some time to have a break and some freedom to enjoy herself.

“As my luck would go, as I was texting her, I immediately became involved in a foot pursuit of a suspect which would tie me up for about an hour,” Greg said. “During that time I had missed Brianna’s response to my text, but I sent her a text once I was done and told her what I had been involved in. She immediately replied, ‘A foot pursuit? What did he do?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ and I proceeded to tell her about the details and about the struggle.”

He said Brianna had never shown much interest in his profession.

“Never really talked a lot about my work. She had spent some time in Oklahoma with her mother and later decided to move here from Oklahoma, and the very next day after her return here, she actually pinned me when I was promoted to Sergeant,” Greg said. “She took part in that ceremony, and she listened with a lot of excitement from our chief because he spoke about the life of a police officer and the sacrifices that we make that affect our families.”

He said he came to realize on the last day that they had spoken in August that she was proud of what he does.

“Within an hour after that she changed her Facebook profile picture with a blue line and a heart and I thanked her for her support for law enforcement and for her understanding for me and (my fiancee) Rachel (Whitehead), because Rachel is also in law enforcement,” Greg said. “She and I were repairing our relationship upon her return and becoming closer. The thought of knowing she loved me and was proud of me as her father means more than I can express.”

The event was organized by Hampden District Supervisor Dr. Odessa Pride and constituents of the Hampden District. During the memorial, Pride expressed her disappointment in the county not being able to address safety concerns of that section of Abilene Road until Spring 2018.

“All of you out here are very important individuals; in January start coming to some of those board of supervisors meetings,” Pride said. “Get up and voice your opinion. Let them know that you’re concerned about this road, not just because of Brianna and other people, but that there could be another accident.”

Giuriceo graduated this year from Prince Edward County High School (PECHS), where she was involved in band, cheerleading, forensics, German exchange, FBLA and the Tri-M Music Honor Society in addition to being an honor roll student and honor graduate, according to Debbie Rush, who is the school’s drama, forensics and debate coach.

According to Giuriceo’s obituary, she had been accepted to Mary Baldwin University with academic honors and was a supporter of dentistry for underprivileged children. The obituary also cited that Giuriceo had won Miss Autumn Dream, a beauty pageant, in 2016. She is the daughter of Gregory Lee Giuriceo Jr., of Farmville, and Shelia Smith Ransom, of Oklahoma, and was born in Farmville. She is survived by her parents, three grandparents, a sister and a brother, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.