PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The University of Pittsburgh student that was struck and killed by a Port Authority Bus over the weekend would have turned 21 years old next month.
Barbara Como was walking near Fifth Avenue at DeSoto Street at the University of Pittsburgh’s campus on Saturday around noon when she was hit by the bus.
Como — a senior from Chester Springs, Pa. — was taken to UPMC Presbyterian in critical condition and later died.
Como was an undergraduate research assistant with the Learning Research and Development Center.
Ben Rottman was her lab director and told KDKA that Como was planning to graduate in the spring with degrees in psychology and anthropology.
She planned on finishing college a year early.
“Barbara was very bright, enthusiastic and hard-working student,” Rottman said. “She was quick to grasp difficult concepts, asked questions and gave great presentations. … She was extremely generous in helping others. … and will be greatly missed by the lab.”
Como, who was planning on finishing college a year early, lived in Lothrop Hall.
“I felt really bad because she was a senior,” said freshman Emily Puglisi. “She was about to graduate. So thinking about that was her last winter break and her parents weren’t even there.”
Puglisi lived in Lothrop but didn’t know Como.
She learned about the accident when the Dean of Students sent out a letter to the hall’s residents.
The letter said, in part:
“It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that one of your fellow residents- Barbara Como, was struck by a Port Authority bus earlier today and died.”
The Port Authority told KDKA’s Amy Wadas that the Pittsburgh Police have taken over the investigation.
While the Port Authority doesn’t have traffic cameras in Oakland, there are cameras on its buses.
The camera on the bus is now part of the investigation.
Port Authority released a statement, saying in full:
Everyone at Port Authority is deeply saddened by the tragic event that claimed the life of Barbara Como on Saturday afternoon.
Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to her family and friends.
The operator involved in this incident will not be driving until the completion of the ongoing investigations by BOTH Pittsburgh police and Port Authority.