Model, 19, Killed In Turnpike Crash

Heather Bratton is shown during a Spring/Summer 2006 fashion show, in Milan, Italy, Sept. 28, 2005. New Jersey State Police confirmed Sunday, July 30, 2006, that 19-year-old Bratton was the passenger who died at the scene of a three-car collision at about 5 a.m. July 22. AP

A young woman killed in a fiery crash on the New Jersey Turnpike was a promising 19-year-old fashion model who recently appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue.

New Jersey State Police confirmed Sunday that Heather Bratton died at the scene of a three-car collision on July 22.

A statement on the Web site of her booking agency, Women Management, said she was en route to Newark International Airport.

Her stepfather, Tim Kerrigan, told The New York Post she had been in New York for a magazine photo shoot.

Bratton, of Wesley Chapel, Fla., was photographed by noted fashion photographer Steven Meisel for a recent Italian Vogue cover. She also appeared this summer in shows in Milan and Paris, modeling for Prada, Gucci, Burberry and Chanel.

"Heather was a sweet, gentle and thoughtful girl who achieved a remarkable level of success during her first year modeling, which is a credit to her distinct beauty and spirit," said the Women Management statement.

Police said the hired car in which she was a passenger had broken down in the center lane of the turnpike, and was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle. Bratton's sedan then struck another car. The SUV and the sedan both caught fire and Bratton was trapped inside.

The accident remained under investigation.

The sedan driver remained in intensive care Sunday at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston with burns over his entire body. Two other people suffered lesser injuries.
  • Christine Lagorio

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