Tributes to Portsmouth University student who died after road accident

Caitlin Homan
Caitlin Homan
Picture: Steve Reid

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The grief-stricken family of a Portsmouth University student who died after a road accident have paid tribute to her.

They revealed that Caitlin Homan’s organs would be donated to up to seven people at her express wish.

Caitlin died the day after she was involved in an accident with a blue Vauxhall Corsa as she walked a dog on the B3049 near Winchester.

The 24-year-old, from Canton in Connecticut, USA, was taken to Southampton General Hospital after the accident at 1pm on May 15, but died the next day.

In a statement, her family said: ‘Although she did not survive, her decision to become an organ donor was honoured. There is hope that as many as six or seven patients will be helped from her donation.

‘Caitie was a graduate student at the University of Portsmouth pursuing her PhD in Psychology. The focus of her research was on whether dogs could detect deception in humans, or as many of her supporters viewed it, whether dogs could be trained to let someone know when they detected deception.

‘Caitie was born and raised in Canton, Connecticut and graduated Canton High School in 2006. She then attended University of Maine, graduating with majors in Wildlife Ecology and Psychology. During her summers there, she interned at a big cat sanctuary outside of Colorado Springs, CO. She also did two internships at the West Palm Beach Zoo in Florida.

‘After graduation, Caitie worked at the Lemur Conservation Foundation near Sarasota, Florida. She began as intern and progressed to Animal Care Specialist. During her time there, she completed two research studies investigating the lemurs’ understanding of transparent barriers.

‘While only attending University of Portsmouth for nine months, she had many wonderful friends among her colleagues in the Psychology department. She was known for her passion for animals and her sense of humor. There is hope that a means will be found to support someone to continue her research which is considered original and creative.

‘The family gives many thanks to the police officials, hospital nurses and doctors, and her many colleagues for making this difficult time so much easier.’

Police are continuing their appeal for information and would like to speak with anyone who witnessed the collision or who saw either the pedestrian or the vehicle prior to it.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Andy Tester at the Fratton Roads Policing unit, quoting Operation Pitch, on 101.