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'Twilight' fan killed by car while awaiting Comic-Con panel

July 10, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • Nikki Reed signs autographs for fans at "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1" Fan Wake-Up Call during Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego.
Nikki Reed signs autographs for fans at "The Twilight Saga: Breaking… (Michael Buckner / Getty…)

A "Twilight" fan's death outside the San Diego Convention Center on Tuesday shocked the Twi-Hard community queued for an upcoming Comic-Con "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" panel discussion and sparked an online outpouring of condolences.

The woman, who'd been camping out since Sunday, was crossing the street against the light to preserve her place as convention center staffers reconfigured the line, fans told the U-T San Diego. The 53-year-old — whom the U-T identified as Gisela Gagliardi of New York — saw the oncoming car and tried to stop, but stumbled and fell into it, sustaining major head injuries, police said.

"This is horrible. So sad. I'm speechless," actress Nikki Reed tweeted in response to the news. In the "Twilight" franchise, Reed portrays Rosalie Hale, a member of the Cullen family vampire clan.

The panel discussion, featuring actors from the film as well as exclusive sneak-peek footage from the final "Twilight" movie, will be held Thursday at the convention center.

Fans online referred to Gagliardi, an accountant, as "Gisela G." and directed condolences to the @mad4hugh Twitter account.

"Lover of in no particular order: Twilight books, movies, etc., Hugh Jackman, Robert Pattinson, travelling, NYC, Australlia, cats," reads the bio on the @mad4hugh page, where the timeline captured a woman preparing ahead for the San Diego event. 

"Woot woot! One week from right this moment @MiChiamoElle and I will be on line to pick up our 2012 #SDCC badges!," Gagliardi tweeted excitedly last Wednesday, the Fourth of July. 

Fans rallied as a community under the #RIPTwiFanG hash tag, urging prayers for the woman's family and friends and offering condolences with a "Twilight"-specific flavor.

The 67-year-old driver of the car, whose wife was in the passenger seat, was questioned but won't be charged, as he had the green light and did not appear to be at fault, police told L.A. Now.

Comic-Con runs Thursday to Sunday, with a preview night Wednesday.

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Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.

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