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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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In Remembrance: Michael Comerford ’22

Michael Comerford, class of 2022.
Michael Comerford, class of 2022. PHOTO: LINKEDIN

Michael Comerford ’22 died Apr. 15 in a fatal car crash near the northbound exit to Route 1 on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) along with two other passengers and the driver.

Comerford was from Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Scranton Preparatory School in 2018 and from St. Joe’s last May with a bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance. By June he had begun working as an administrative recruiter at Aston Carter, a global staffing and consulting firm, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

The two-car crash occurred early in the morning in a rideshare vehicle that also contained two of Comerford’s friends from Clarks Summit: 23-year-old twin brothers Tucker Schimelfenig and Christian Schimelfenig. The vehicle was driven by 31-year-old Jan Carlo Santana, who died in the incident as well. The 31-year-old man who crashed into the rideshare vehicle, Victor A. Spizzirri, has been charged with four counts of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. 

Timothy Christman ’22, a longtime friend and former college roommate of Comerford, said the two spent every moment together during their junior and senior years. His favorite memories were simply getting home from class and talking on the couch about each other’s days. 

“One of Michael’s best qualities was that he was very personable with everyone he met,” Christman said. “He would be able to strike up a conversation with anyone and ask how they were doing or what was going on in their life. After you had talked to him, you left that conversation knowing that someone really cared about you.” 

Christman said Comerford was a big sports fan. He played golf and actively followed the St. Joe’s men’s basketball team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Knicks and the Boston Red Sox.

Michael Greco ’23, a longtime friend of Comerford, said the two met in grade school and became closer through playing on the same high school football team. He recalled a vivid memory of the team beating their biggest opponent his junior year and Comerford inviting the entire team over to his lake house afterwards. 

“He always made it about you,” Greco said. “It was never about Michael. He genuinely wanted to make sure everyone else was doing well before he ever thought about or brought up himself in a conversation. He was a great listener.”

Mary Ann Cook Ed. D., executive director of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management, said she can still picture Comerford sitting in the middle-left of the classroom in her Insurance Operations class in the fall of 2021. Also his academic advisor at the time, she said though Michael was quiet in class, he was a great student. 

“He was just very, very thoughtful and interested in technology and innovation, and he was a great presenter,” Cook said. “He did really well in the projects and was really thoughtful in his written work, and he just really impressed me.”

Christman said Comerford will be remembered for being a family man, a loyal friend and someone who consistently cared about others. 

“Even if you weren’t close with Michael, he always treated you like one of his best friends,” Christman said. “He reminded us to live every day to the fullest and to always have a positive outlook on life. His love for his family and friends will live on through everyone he has impacted.”

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