25-year-old Jacksonville woman dies in Cancun accident

Ceiling beam landed on woman in hotel in Mexico last week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The family of a young Jacksonville woman is now in mourning after she died in a bizarre accident while on vacation in Mexico.

Lauren DuFresne (pictured, below), 25, spent most of her childhood in Jacksonville, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School and then the University of Florida.

She was in Cancun last Thursday when a ceiling beam fell and landed on her while she was on the terrace of her hotel room. She died at a hospital.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, including how and why the beam fell on top of her, especially because it happened in Mexico and is an ongoing investigation.

DuFresne's dad and younger brother spoke Tuesday afternoon about their loss.

They said DuFresne was a volleyball star who graduated with honors from Bishop Kenny and continued to excel at UF, where she again graduated with honors and a degree in finance.

As her father, Don DuFresne, put it, she always remained a shining star, moving back home to the River City to take a prestigious financial analyst job with FIS Global.

But her life was taken all too soon and tragically. It was two days after her 25th birthday, two days in to a four-day vacation in Cancun with her boyfriend, when a decorative concrete beam fell on top of her.

Mexico news outlets report the heavy beam, poorly attached by only drywall, fell on her head and chest, knocking her unconscious. They say she was rushed to a hospital there, but didn't survive.

Her loved ones, family and friends are left with so many unanswered questions as the case remains an ongoing investigation in a foreign country. What they do know is, the beach-, dog- and life-lover will be deeply missed.

This tragedy is a feeling her family knows all too well. It's the second daughter her parents have lost to a terrible accident. In Mandarin 14 years ago, McKenzie DuFresne died at 2 1/2 years old when she accidentally rolled up a car window while her head was out the window.

Don DuFresne said Lauren will be laid to rest by her sister's side on Thursday. The family says they now have two angels watching over them.

Visitation for Lauren DuFresne will be held Wednesday night from 7 to 9 at the Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home in Mandarin. Her funeral will be Thursday morning at 11 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Old Augustine Road.

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