Comic-Con death: 'Twilight' fan killed in car accident, is mourned by actors
While the "Twilight" stars are gearing up for a busy weekend of promoting the vampire franchise's final film at San Diego Comic-Con, several of them are also mourning the unfortunate death of a dear fan.
Gisela Gagliardi, a 53-year-old "Twi-Hard" and resident of Kingston, New York, suffered a fatal head injury after she was hit by a car while crossing the street against oncoming traffic, according to police. She was trying to preserve a place in line at the popular convention on Tuesday, The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted fans as saying.
"I'm so sorry to hear the deviating news about Gisella G," Tweeted "Twilight" star Ashley Greene, who plays Alice Cullen. "My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. :("
"This is horrible. So sad. I'm speechless," Nikki Reed, who plays her character's sister, Rosalie Hale, in the movies, Tweeted on July 10.
A police official told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Gagliardi was in a crosswalk and had a red light when she tried to run alone across Harbor Drive, a busy street with two lanes on both sides, toward the San Diego Convention Center, where Comic-Con takes place.
She tried to stop when she saw a Subaru Outback SUV heading towards her but tripped and hit the side of the vehicle, which knocked her unconscious. She suffered a head injury and was taken to a hospital, where she died, the police official said.
Gagliardi's death was also confirmed by the Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home in Kingston, according to local newspaper The Daily Freeman. The outlet quoted another police official as saying the driver who hit her cooperated with police and will not be charged over the incident, which is still being investigated.
The "Twilight" franchise has a cult following and cast members with social network accounts have millions of fans who subscribe to their posts. Gagliardi was active on both Facebook, where she posted photos of herself at "Twilight" events, and Twitter. Her account has over 790 followers and its profile reads: "Lover of in no particular order: Twilight books, movies, etc., Hugh Jackman, Robert Pattinson, travelling, NYC, Australia, cats."
Many Twitter users are now Tweeting about her death using the hashtag "RIPTwiFanG" and are offering their condolences and moments of silence for Gagliardi. Jackson Rathbone, who plays Greene's character's mate Jasper Hale, used it in his own Twitter message of condolence, as did Maggie Grace, who plays Irina in the films.
"I just heard about today's sad accident," she Tweeted. "Those close to Gisella G. are in our thoughts and prayers tonight! #RIPTwiFanG"
The film's producers, on behalf of Lionsgate and Summit, also released a statement about Gagliardi's death.
"The entire Twilight community [is] saddened by the death of a Comic-Con fan today due to a traffic accident during the hours leading up to this year's convention in San Diego," it said.
The "Twilight" stars, including main cast members Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, are set to appear at a San Diego Comic-Con panel discussion about the franchise's final movie, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," on Thursday, July 12. The film is set for release in November.