Slain nurse is second student from Pennsylvania school killed on Tennessee interstates

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In a cruel twist of fate, Caitlyn Kaufman is the second nursing school graduate from Butler County Community College in Pennsylvania to be killed on a Tennessee interstate. 

Saint Thomas West Hospital nurse Caitlyn Kaufman was shot and killed on Interstate 440 last Thursday when when someone opened fire on her SUV while she was driving to work. She was just 26 years old.

Kaufman was from the small city of Chicora, Pennsylvania, in Butler County. She received her nursing degree from Butler County Community College.

Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Kasunic also graduated from Butler County Community College. She was working as a nurse in Knoxville in December of 2019.

She was stopped along Interstate 40 in Knoxville when a good Samaritan stopped to help her. Moments later, a driver slammed into both women, killing Kasunic and 38-year-old Ashley Moore. The driver was charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.  

“She would literally give anybody the shirt off of her back, and she would go to great lengths to be a very loyal friend to everybody, as well as a great sister,” said Kasunic’s brother Michael.

MORE: Brother remembers sister killed in I-40 crash

Butler County Community College established a fund and fundraiser walk in Kasunic’s honor.  

The irony of two nurses from his school dying on Tennessee’s roadways is not lost on President Dr. Nicholas Neupauer. 

“The sad irony is another student, another one of our stars, who was pursuing a dream, in nursing in Tennessee and died tragically,” said Dr. Neupauer. 

Dr. Neupauer told News 2 the school will likely honor Kaufman in a similar way.

Contributions in Caitlyn’s memory can be made to a scholarship for students pursuing a nursing degree at Butler County Community College.

Please make the check to:

BC3 Education Foundation, Inc.,
P.O. Box 1203
Butler, PA 16003.
Please note in the memo section “Caitlyn Kaufman Legacy Scholarship”.

He remembered Kaufman as shining star.

“I can tell you and the viewers in Nashville that we are heartbroken, Caitlyn represents the very best of our college. I think to get a full picture it would be important to give your audience a full representation of Butler. Although the steel industry declined in the 70’s and into the early 80’s there are still remnants of that steel industry and the immigrants who came over to work in steel. These are people who have great pride in their community, give back to their community and are incredibly hard working, that was Caitlyn,” recalled Dr. Neupauer.

He asks everyone keep Caitlyn and her family in their prayers.

“We are absolutely heartbroken, continue to pray for the family and Caitlyn. I will tell you her legacy
will live on forever.”

Investigators determined Caitlyn was killed between 6:05 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. when at least six gunshots were fired into her SUV. The fatal shot entered Caitlyn’s left shoulder and killed her within 15 seconds, according to the medical examiner.

Authorities believe she died too quickly to attempt to call 911.

There are multiple ways you can donate to help the family of Kaufman. So far, more than $40,000 has been raised to help the family. If you have any information, call 615-742-7463.

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