Connecticut Teen Finishes ‘Bucket List' by Sacrificing Life to Save Friend

Rebecca Townsend's final act has inspired others to complete acts of kindness

Kiss in the rain, fly to Spain, save a life -– those three things comprise the bucket list of a Connecticut teen who died completing it.

Rebecca Townsend, 17, of Brookfield was hit by a car last week after watching fireworks in Danbury. Her final act was to push a friend, Ben Arne, from the path of the oncoming car, according to her father.

Arne survived. Townsend didn't.

"That was typically Rebecca. I knew Ben Arne too. They were good friends; they were always talking in the halls, and I’m not surprised that she would save him," said Matthew Hooker, a friend of Townsend's. "She was always really bright and a smart girl."

Family members said they found Townsend's bucket list after her death. She scribbled it in 2012 as part of a note entitled, "For the Future Rebecca Townsend."

Her sister, Monica, read it at the funeral and posted her eulogy on Facebook.

"What an insightful, funny, quirky, and sensitive little girl. To my parents, thank you for taking her to Spain," Monica Townsend wrote. "To Niko, thank you for being the cute boyfriend she could kiss in the rain. And to Ben, thank you for letting her save a life."

Rebecca Townsend's story has inspired friends and strangers alike. A Facebook page called "Remembering Rebecca" documents small acts of kindness performed in her memory, and donations are pouring for a charity close to her heart.

"It does her justice. She was a great person and she deserves all this attention for the life she lived," Hooker said.

The driver who struck Townsend stayed at the scene and has not been charged.

Friends said Arne is doing OK.

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