«With Federica I lost everything, but I hope she didn’t die in vain» – Pescara

«With Federica I lost everything, but I hope she didn’t die in vain» – Pescara
«With Federica I lost everything, but I hope she didn’t die in vain» – Pescara

FRANCAVILLA BY THE SEA. There were 3-4 minutes to go by car at most, and Federica Pizzuto, 21 years old, on Friday afternoon, after saying goodbye to her boyfriend at the Faculty of Medicine in Chieti, she would have returned home to Francavilla, Pretaro area. Just enough time to exit the Pineta junction and travel a kilometer and a half on the Nazionale and it was there. She would have waited for the return of her parents who were returning from Udine by bus last Friday, where they had been to visit her eldest daughter, and everything would have continued as usual. But just a step away from the junction there was a head-on collision with the van driven by a 59-year-old man from Montesilva who had just entered the variant. Now, while he is hospitalized in intensive care, “Federica is no longer here”, repeats his mother Lucia Capraro. “Look at how the car is, his father had fixed it for him because at least with a sturdy car he would travel safer.” «But instead», he intervenes in a faint voice Giuseppe Pizzuto, «I had to go and say what I never wanted to, “Yes, she’s my daughter”. It was my turn to do it.”
Originally from Puglia, from San Marco in Lamis, a stone’s throw from San Giovanni Rotondo, Federica’s parents arrived in Francavilla when she was seven years old: «My husband, says Lucia, «works in the Air Force, we are here for his work» . And this is how, between tears and silences, the story intertwines with their life with Federica. “There were four of us, we are still four,” says the sister Giulia while showing the photo of the last birthday of his sister, seven years younger. «It was last July 22nd, and I didn’t even want to celebrate it at home», whispers Lucia, «I had lost my mother four months ago, it was a very heavy blow for me and I couldn’t recover. I told her to go out with her friends, with her boyfriend. But Federica insisted. And thank goodness: it was her last birthday, but who knew? While she sits in the living room of her house to welcome the comings and goings of the many who come to embrace her and her family, it is with the pain printed on her face that Lucia, 52 years old, a devotee of Saint Pio, still manages from time to time to smile while showing on her mobile phone the constant messages that Federica, “my little girl”, sent her. And then the photos of her: “The last one is this, Friday lunch in the university canteen.” And finally, her vocals: «This is how Federica was, to understand what she was like you have to hear her voice».
And what was Federica like?
«It was gold. Since she was born it has been a blessing. Sometimes I said “I don’t deserve a daughter like that”, a daughter who didn’t know reproach. Of a unique sensitivity, she had friends everywhere, an empathetic, cheerful girl, full of life. She is very good at school, and even better in life. Even at university, she helped colleagues who fell behind, and she always did her exams in good standing, all 30/30 cum laude. Last month she received the scholarship for the second year. From the scientific Galilei she came out with a 100. Yesterday the primary school teacher also came to visit me. Federica gave everything. She is pure, honest, direct.”
What dreams did he have?
«Federica wanted to be a doctor. She passed the test with a very high score. When she came out of the selections, when her father asked her how it went she told him “dad I passed them all, I’m going in”. And so it was. She was becoming interested in genetics, DNA, tumors. Maybe she would have become a hematologist, a researcher. She was tough my daughter. And in high school she loved philosophy. She has also won races, but I would like to know more. I only know a part of what she was.”
Ma’am, on the afternoon of the accident, how did you find out?
«We were on the bus, returning from Udine. My husband has the geolocator on Federica’s car, he always sees where she is. Looking at Facebook I read about the accident on the variant, it was more or less the time Federica returned. I told my husband to check, but the geolocator was stopped at 5.06pm at that point on the variant. I started writing to her, here are the messages: “Are you there?”, “Are you at home?”. But she, who wrote to me and shared everything about her days with me, didn’t respond, didn’t visualize. So I called the boyfriend. “She left recently” he told me, “but now I’m going, I’ll take the motorbike and go”. Then absolute silence. Nobody gave us any news until the boyfriend called us and the 118 doctor called us. That’s how we found out.”
When did you last say goodbye to her?
«On the evening of Tuesday, the 14th. My husband and I left home to catch the bus to Udine at half past 10 in the evening. First I gave her a kiss here, in the living room. Then I was already at the door and I went back to his room. She was with her stuffed owl and I kissed her again. That stuffed animal is with her now. She loved it, her friend Camilla had given it to her in second grade. She loved stuffed animals.”
Your daughter is called Federica Pia, why?
«I was born a stone’s throw from San Giovanni Rotondo, I am very devoted to Padre Pio, I pray every evening, I have rosaries everywhere in the house. I gave her the name of the saint because I wanted him to protect her, but she didn’t protect me.”
How would you like your daughter to be remembered?
«I agreed to speak publicly about her to raise awareness among the institutions and those responsible for intervening on the problem of road safety. More restrictive measures are needed to keep those who run at bay, enough with the speed. We need strict rules, more controls, or it will happen again. For me it’s all over, you can’t survive the death of a child, but at least Federica’s death can serve this purpose, to stop the massacre.”

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