Usually, when high school students, parents and supporters gather at a New Jersey high school, they do so to cheer on a school sports team, see a school play, or support another academic or extracurricular achievement. And this is how it should be. Young people should gather to celebrate their accomplishments, not to mourn fellow students who have been taken much too soon.
Unfortunately, this is what students at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey, were forced to do last weekend after four members of the school's football team were killed in a deadly car accident on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway.
According to the New Jersey State Police, eight football players were traveling together to partake in their team's traditional end of summer meal in nearby Mays Landing at about noon on Saturday. As the students traveled along the Garden State Parkway, the 17-year-old driver suddenly lost control of the vehicle. It overturned several times during high traffic on the Parkway near the Egg Harbor exit.
Two passengers, ages 16 and 15, were ejected from the vehicle and were pronounced dead at the scene. The 17-year-old driver and another 16-year-old passenger also suffered fatal injuries. The other four passengers in the vehicle were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries. Their current status is unknown.
The following evening, hundreds of students, parents and friends gathered at the high school to attempt to come to grips with the loss of four of their own. It is a process that will likely take some time, according to Linwood Mayor Rick DePamphilis III. "I can't remember anything that has ever happened that is more devastating than this," he said. "Mainland Regional football is a family type of thing."
If you have lost a loved one in a tragic car accident, feel free to contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: Reuters, "New Jersey town mourns four athletes killed in car crash," Dave Warner, August 21, 2011