04:35 PM EDT 01/02/2014

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Personal Tragedy

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How Two Women Became 'Like Sisters' After Losing Loved Ones in Newtown

Remembering Newtown: How Two Women Bonded After Their Loved Ones Were Slain

Originally posted 12/14/2013 10:00AM

Erica Lafferty and Carlee Soto first remember seeing each other at the Newtown firehouse on Dec. 14, awaiting word of their relatives' fate.

Earlier that morning, Erica's mom, Sandy Hook school principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, had rushed out of a meeting when she heard gunshots. As she ran toward the shooter, he gunned her down. He then burst into Vicki Soto's first-grade class, just moments after she had herded a group of children into a closet.

Lanza shot the 27-year-old teacher, her aide, Anne Marie Murphy, and the five children Soto and Murphy tried to shield.

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Credit: Mark Peterson; Inset Courtesy Barden Family
Newtown, One Year Later: Honoring a 7-Year-Old's Kind Spirit

Newtown, One Year Later: Honoring a 7-Year-Old's Kindness with Foundation in His Memory

Originally posted 12/11/2013 12:05PM

Mark Barden still cannot believe his son Daniel is no longer here to cuddle on snowy winter mornings or challenge him to foosball games before school.

"In those first few seconds when I'm awake, I still have to think, 'Was this whole thing just a horrible dream?' " he says. "I still find myself trying to comprehend it, as we all are."

Barden lost his 7-year-old son on Dec. 14, 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 first graders, including Daniel, and six educators before turning the gun on himself.

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Credit: Heidi Gutman/NBC
Madonna Badger Engaged Nearly Two Years After Losing Family in Christmas Day Fire

Madonna Badger Engaged Nearly Two Years After Losing Family in Christmas Day Fire

Originally posted 11/15/2013 10:30AM

Two years ago, Madonna Bagder endured the worst Christmas imaginable: Her three young daughters and parents died in a fire that tore through her Connecticut home.

In the aftermath, a despondent Badger repeatedly threatened to kill herself, barely coping in a haze of grief and despair.

But today, the 49-year-old ad-agency owner has managed to find happiness again – and is even engaged to be married.

"It’s never going to be easy. The pain is just so huge that sometimes it feels like a prison cell," she writes in a moving first-person essay in Vogue. "But trying really hard to not feel sorry for myself makes me feel good ... Basically, I go to wherever the light is, because anything else is darkness, and it can be a deeply black darkness."

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Credit: Jane Tyska/MCT/ZUMA
Bride Dies in Limo Fire on the Way to Bridal Shower

Bride and Four Friends Die in Limo Fire

Originally posted 05/06/2013 10:40AM

The driver of a limousine that burst into flames on a San Francisco Bay area bridge, killing five women, says he at first misunderstood what one of the passengers in the back was saying when she complained about smelling smoke.

Orville Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle that with the music up he initially thought the woman was asking if she could smoke. Seconds later, he said the women knocked again, this time screaming, "Smoke, smoke!" and "Pull over."

The fire broke out late Saturday night as the Lincoln Town Car crossed the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge on the south end of the bay.

The driver and four women got out, but five others were trapped, including the bride whose marriage they were celebrating.

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Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA/Landov
Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle Dies in Plane Crash

UpdatePosted 10/12/2006 08:55PM

Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle Dies in Plane Crash

Originally posted 10/11/2006 05:25PM

New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle died after a small aircraft he owned crashed into a high-rise building on the east side of Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon.

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Credit: JONATHAN SKOW
Olivia Newton-John Moves On | Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John Moves On

Originally posted 09/28/2006 12:55PM

On his last day before he disappeared at sea, Patrick McDermott was gardening in the backyard of the Malibu home he shared with his love of eight years, Olivia Newton-John.

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