A Milford woman died on her 22nd birthday early Friday morning in a single-car crash on Interstate 95 near Exit 8 in Sharon, State Police said.
Stephanie Boaventura drove her 2010 Toyota Corolla into the median “for reasons still under investigation,” according to a statement from State Police. When Boaventura tried to drive back onto the road, the driver’s side of her car struck the guardrail.
Massachusetts state troopers responded at approximately 3:10 a.m. Friday. They were assisted by Sharon police, fire, and EMS.
Two lanes of I-95 south were closed for about four hours.
Close family friend Maria Cancilieri said Boaventura was out celebrating her birthday with friends Thursday night, but decided to go home to celebrate with her family the following day.
Boaventura had recently graduated from Regis College and wanted to be a nurse, Cancilieri said.
“She was just so free,” Cancilieri said. “She was different than other kids. Other kids, they pull themselves in. But she was very open to everybody.”
Eveline Lima-Oliveira, Boaventura’s aunt and godmother, described her niece as “the type of person who would embrace anyone who was around her.” Boaventura, she said, was fun-loving, active, and hard-working. She liked to dance and played volleyball and soccer in high school, said Lima-Oliveira.
“Everybody wanted to be near her,” she said.
Boaventura was pursuing a master’s degree at Regis, said Lima-Oliveira. She wanted to focus on public health, she said.
“She had a lot of plans for her future,” said Lima-Oliveira.
Lima-Oliveira said friends of Boaventura’s told the family Boaventura went out in Providence, R.I., to celebrate her birthday, but Boaventura was not drinking “because she wanted to drive back home.” Family was important to Boaventura and she was always present at family gatherings, especially birthday parties, according to her aunt.
“She wanted to wake up in her house to celebrate with her family,” said Lima-Oliveira.
Boaventura drove even though she was tired, according to her aunt. The family believes Boaventura fell asleep at the wheel.
Paula Faria, a family friend, said Boaventura will be sorely missed.
“In Milford, the Brazilian community is very close,” Faria said. “She was well known, very kind, always helping others with translating.”
Friends and family members mourned Boaventura’s death, while noting it was her birthday, with heartfelt messages on her Facebook page.
“Everyone saying happy birthday yet I noticed one sayin RIP & I didn’t think it was real at all,” one person wrote. “Happy Birthday up in the heavens Stephanie Boaventura Rest in the sweetest peace girl.”