BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- 45-year-old Ellen Volpe was making her usual commute Thursday morning, from her home in Rochester to Buffalo.
Volpe worked as a professor at UB’s School of Nursing. She was hired in 2013 by Dean Marsha Lewis.
Lewis called Volpe one of the university’s “rising stars.”
The mother of two specialized in mental health research, and was studying PTSD in adolescents.
“She focused on her research for sure, but she also was an outstanding teacher and has done a lot of services to the University and the community. Especially the community engagement, she was heavily involved in the community. So every time I worked with her I just felt like she was at the top of her game,” said Yuping Chang, an associate dean who worked closely with Volpe.
Volpe was travelling west on I-90 between Pembroke and Depew Thursday morning just before 10, when State Police say a box truck struck her 2009 Honda from behind.
Five cars were involved in the collision altogether; Volpe was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lewis said there’s a major void at UB, one she doesn’t see being filled anytime soon.
“When you got to know Ellen, you first of all noticed her smile. She had a wonderful ready smile, a great laugh. She was really a good citizen of this school,” she said.
Faculty are still in shock, Lewis said.
State Police are continuing to investigate the crash.
One person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Arrangements for Volpe have not been announced publicly at this time.