An LSU student who was remembered as “thoughtful” and “motherly” died Monday night after she was hit by a train in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Katie Keogh, 20, was visiting friends in Tuscaloosa near the University of Alabama and tried to “beat a train,” said a Tuscaloosa Police Department spokeswoman.
Tuscaloosa Fire Marshal Gene Holcomb said the tracks, located near 14th Street and 10th Avenue, are surrounded by university student housing.
As she walked behind friends from the entertainment district and crossed the tracks just before midnight, she was struck by the train and killed. A witness tried to revive her, but she died at the scene.
Keogh was a sophomore at LSU, where she had recently decided to switch her major to psychology, said her friend Abby Grand. Grand explained that Keogh was motivated by helping people and that she had plans to continue her education in psychology to do so.
“She was very motherly,” Grand said. “Everyone always told her she acted like a mom. She was very thoughtful. She was into helping people. Everyone came to talk with her about stuff.”
Keogh's mother said her daughter had hopes to become an industrial psychologist.
"She wanted to get her Ph.D. because she had such a connection with people," said Patte Pinocci Keogh. "She always put other people first."
Katie Keogh grew up in Baton Rouge and attended St. Joseph’s Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school where she quickly became best friends with Grand. When Grand moved to South Carolina to attend College of Charleston, Grand said, her friend always worried about her and was there for her.
“Her personality is what has people so torn up about her,” Grand said. “She was always sick with worrying about everyone else and not herself. … She was one of the best friends that anyone could have.”
Keogh always looked out for her younger brother, Luke, a junior in high school, said her mom.
"She was kind, non-judgmental," her mother said. "I don't know what I'm going to do without her. She was so beautiful, smart, passionate about the things she believed."
Katie Keogh was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and Phi Eta Sigma honor society at LSU. Grand said Keogh also loved music.
She was a nanny and loved "her babies," said her mom, and she also loved her dogs.
Her sorority will be hosting a memorial Wednesday night for Katie Keogh at 5050 E. Bluebell Drive, where people are asked to wear bright colors and bring photos of Katie.
A viewing is scheduled Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church on Stuart Avenue, followed by a noon service.