Yale graduate and writer, 22, dies in crash

Marina Keegan had a bright future.

Having just graduated from Yale University a week prior to the accident, she was looking forward to spending time with friends and family before starting a job as an assistant at The New Yorker in mid-June. She is known as an avid writer, and no one was surprised when she took a job at the magazine to pursue her dream.

All that came to a screeching halt at 1:20 a.m. on May 29, when Keegan lost her life in a rollover car crash on Route 6 in Dennis, Cape Cod. 

Keegan's boyfriend, Michael Gocksch, 22, reportedly fell asleep at the wheel. Both were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and speed has not been identified as a factor.

As an active contributor to the Yale Daily News, Keegan had written for The New Yorker blog, Page-Turner, and even been featured in The New York Times and National Public Radio for her essay, "Even artichokes have doubts," about the career choices of recent college graduates. She later wrote a piece for The New York Times about college recruitment.

Her mother, Tracy Keegan, told the Cape Cod Times that her daughter "was an astounding, amazing person. She was able to bring a world view. She got involved in how to change things.

In her final essay for the Yale Daily News, a piece called The Opposite of Loneliness, Keegan wrote about the changeability of life and how people have the power to turn their lives around.

"What we have to remember is that we can still do anything," she wrote. "We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it's too late to do anything is comical. It's hilarious. We're graduating college. We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have." 

Not only a talented writer in her own right, Keegan singlehandedly founded a sand castle building contest in Wellfleet, where she and her family spent their summers, to benefit a celiac disease support foundation in Boston.

She also recently wrote the script for a musical called "Independents," about young people finding themselves on a Revolutionary War-reenactment ship. The musical will be presented at the New York International Fringe Festival in August.

Keegan will be missed by countless family members, friends, classmates and writers who remember her for her writing as well as for the remarkable young person she was.