4 High School Football Players Killed In Crash
LINWOOD, N.J. - Grief shrouded the tree-lined neighborhoods around Mainland Regional High School on Sunday, a day after four high school football players were killed and four were injured when their SUV crashed on Garden State Parkway on their way to have brunch with some teammates.
Students, parents, community members, and football team players donned in game jerseys turned out to mourn their loss at an evening vigil in misty weather. Some of the crash survivors were among the more than 3,000 who attended the vigil at the school stadium.
Photos of the four teens killed in the crash were placed at the center of the football field, drawing the attention of the attendees while speakers discussed the teens' accomplishments on and off the field. Many in the crowd cried and hugged throughout the vigil.
"Right when it happened, I was in total shock, I was just praying it wasn't true," said Joey Geiger, 16, a member of the football team. "Every single play (this season) is now for them."
Chris Hickey of Linwood said her daughter Lauren, a junior at the school, was good friends with two of the teens killed in the crash.
"I don't even know what to tell her. I don't even know how to make sense of it," Hickey said.
Earlier in the day, the football field was still. A solitary jogger looped the track. Tackling dummies in the nearby practice field stood undisturbed.
Superintendent Thomas Baruffi said he hoped the candlelight vigil would give people a place to come together and grieve. He said he has been through student deaths before, but never multiple deaths at the same time. "They're always tragic," he said. "You know there's nothing you can say or do that's enough."
Under New Jersey law, drivers under 18 generally are not allowed to carry more than one passenger unless a parent or guardian is in the vehicle. The eight boys in the SUV ranged in age from 15 to 17.
State police continued to investigate and did not release details Sunday on how fast the SUV was moving before the crash or whether the occupants were wearing seatbelts.
The teenagers were on their way to meet other players at the Old Country Buffet in Mays Landing, one of several places players often go to eat.
Sgt. Julian Castellanos, a state police spokesman, said the driver, 17-year-old Casey Brenner of Northfield, apparently lost control of the vehicle about 11:45 a.m. Saturday as it went around a crest on the parkway and came upon heavy traffic. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE HUFFINGTONPOST
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
KHQ.COM - Seattle Seahawks legend and NFL Hall of Famer, Cortez Kennedy, is dead at the age of 48. TMZ Sports says they confirmed the news with the Orlando Police Department who say "there is nothing suspicious" about his death. The cause of his death is still unknown. Cortez played his entire eleven-season career with the Seattle Seahawks from 1990 - 2001.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - It's not a typical place you'd see a rollover crash, but a red SUV rolled onto its side, shattering the windshield, in a crash at Sprague and Freya on Tuesday just before noon. Police say a blue SUV (not pictured) attempted to make a left hand turn where it's not permitted, and while crossing traffic, he t-boned the red SUV.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane Police say 10-year-old Jeremy Clough has been found and is safe as of 11:18 p.m. Monday night.>>
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A nice family drive turns into a dangerous encounter after a driver rams into their car and takes off. Now the father of two young children wants that driver to take responsibility for his actions. The incident happened on Friday around 5 p.m. off of Highway 2 and Day Mount Spokane Road.>>
MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain's threat level from terrorism has been raised to critical - meaning an attack may be imminent. May says Salman Abadi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester, may have been part of a bigger network.>>
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine military officials say a group of heavily armed militants backing the Islamic State group has barged into a southern city and troops are battling the gunmen. Regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Joar Herrera said by telephone that army and police forces were battling at least 15 fighters from a Muslim rebel group called Maute on Tuesday in the village of Basak Malutlut in Marawi.>>