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Community Mourns Eastman Professor

Family, friends and students are mourning the loss of world-renowned pianist and Eastman School of Music Professor Tatiana Tchekina.
Family, friends and students are mourning the loss of world-renowned pianist and Eastman School of Music Professor Tatiana Tchekina.

Tchekina was involved in a fatal crash early this morning- the second deadly wrong way crash in two weeks. The Eastman School of Music lost a teach, a mentor and a friend. The musical talents of the 69 year old Tchekina left a footprint on her students hearts.

"It's a really traumatic situation. My thoughts are all with them right now," Eastman freshman Stephanie Chen said.

Just before 1:30am Saturday Tchekina and her husband, 71 year old Oleh Krysa, were driving home on 490 West near the Chili Center Road exit. Monroe County Sheriff's deputies say Tchekina died when another vehicle, driven by 37 year old Thomas Rome, was traveling the wrong way and collided into Tchekina and Krysa, killing Tchekina immediately. Krysa suffered minor injuries and was released from Strong Hospital Saturday afternoon.

Police say Rome was unconscious after the crash and was also taken to Strong with a possible broken leg and other injuries. Authorities say they smelled alcohol on Rome and suspect that played a role in the crash.

"I would imagine that person was too befuddled to know which way to go. I think an initiative to make it clear with lights and whatever signals they can put up on the free way is important and needed," Tchekina's neighbor Carol Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman lives across the street from Tchekina and Krysa and knows the impact Tchekina had on her students.

"You get very attached to your teachers. They study with them for years," Zimmerman said.

Students at Eastman say to have professionals like Tchekina and Krysa teaching them is a once in a lifetime experience. The couple had played together all over the world. Students can't wrap their minds around the fact that the crash happened so suddenly and so randomly.

"I guess we will just continue doing what we do best-making beautiful music in honor of her," Eastman freshman Alex Yuill said.

The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.



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