The man accused of causing the car crash in Rutland that killed 17-year-old Carly Ferro and injured her father remains in jail for lack of a $200,000 bond.
Twenty-three-year-old Alex Spanos, of Rutland, pleaded not guilty last week to six charges, including gross negligence and manslaughter.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, it was standing room only at the Rutland Country Club as hundreds came to remember, laugh, cry, tell stories and say goodbye to Carly Jean Ferro. Cardboard displays held photos of her as a baby and as a child. Many showed her with her older brother Sam.
But it was the smiling senior portrait at the front of the room – blown up extra large – with Carly’s red golf bag leaning up against it that was especially moving. Agnes Ferro, Carly’s aunt, says the photo was taken just days before her niece died.
"She had beautiful curly brown hair and big sparkling eyes," she said, "and a smile that just lit everything up – you couldn’t help but smile back at her when you saw her smile at you."
Carly’s smile and her infectious giggle and laughter was something nearly everyone talked about, including her high school golf coach Richard Alberti, who spoke about Carly after the service.
"That smile – that all encompassing positive attitude. I mean, if somebody goes around and spends their day smiling and laughing and giggling and just accepting anybody and not being afraid to speak her mind. . . How could you not embrace her as a human being?" he asked. "She was so special."
Carly worked every day after school at Rutland Discount Foods and at her father’s restaurant on Sundays. But she also played the violin in Rutland High School’s advanced orchestra. She managed the basketball team and was an officer in Key Club – a school service organization. Lynn Hier, one of the club’s faculty advisors, says they’d organize activities at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities and Carly would jump right in.
"It’s just amazing to see a young person, someone who was just 17, be so comfortable with either people who are disabled or just difficult circumstances or the elderly," she said. "It just was second nature to her."
Many at the memorial smiled as they remembered Carly’s fondness for high heels and her passion for golf, a game she’d played since childhood. Her father, Ron Ferro, smiled when he talked after the service about how Carly had called him during a high school golf tournament to tell him she’d gotten a hole in one.
Ron Ferro wears a neck brace and is still recovering from injuries he sustained in last week’s accident. Friends and family say the father and daughter shared an especially close relationship, something Ron says he cherished.
"We just looked at each other in the eye- knew when to give each other a hug – knew when not to say anything – so it was special," he said.
Ellen Ferro, Carly’s mother says the outpouring of community support over the last few days has been a huge help and a moving testament to the special life that was lost.