Vigil held for high school senior killed in New Milford crash – Eyewitness News 3

NEW MILFORD, CT (WFSB) – A vigil was set for Monday night at New Milford High School for a student who died in a crash on Friday.
Julio Gomez, 17, was identified by police as the passenger who was killed.
Three other victims, including a 17-year-old driver who was in the car with Gomez and a passenger in another vehicle, were reportedly in critical condition from the crash.
The collision occurred on Route 7 in New Milford.
Officials said the crash happened just before 2:25 p.m. on Friday near the “Made in Brazil” store and the Italia Mia Restaurant on Danbury Road.
“My problem here is the drivers are too fast. The people in the morning, they drive 55-60 miles [per hour], but I need more cops over here,” said Tony Freidas, New Milford. “This is very, very dangerous. I live in this town for the last five years. I see on the road, I think, 5 or 7 accidents.”
Police said the crash involved three teenagers and two adults.
Police said the 17-year-old driver of a 2006 Infiniti G35 drove north in the right lane and the driver of a 2002 Hyundai Tucson tried to turn left from the left southbound lane. The driver of the Hyundai tried to pull into Italia Mia, police said.
The Tucson and the G35 collided and the G35 crashed into a 2014 Nissan Rouge that had been traveling south on Route 7.
The 17-year-old driver of the Infiniti was taken to the Danbury Hospital Emergency Department. She was listed in critical condition. The 17-year-old passenger, Gomez, was transported to Danbury Hospital and was pronounced dead.
The 48-year-old driver and 29-year-old passenger of the Rouge were transported to Danbury Hospital. The driver was in stable condition. The passenger was said to be in critical condition, and needed to be transported to another hospital.
The driver of the Tucson declined medical attention at the scene.
School officials said Gomez a senior at New Milford High School.
Candles were placed near the crash site on Saturday.
The crash shut down Danbury Road for several hours, during which another collision occurred in the resulting traffic. Police said a car stopped and was rear-ended by the vehicle behind them. No injuries were reported in the second crash.
The deadly crash is under investigation by New Milford police’s accident reconstruction team, but Mayor Pete Bass says the Infiniti’s speed was a factor. In a post on social media, Bass writes:
“The speed of the car was higher than the posted speed limit…”
According to state data, a total of twenty-three crashes occurred in that area along Route 7. The town is making a concerted effort to make Route 7 safer, including participating in a street safety study, addressing faulty lights, and making the road more pedestrian friendly.
There will also be a traffic enforcement officer posted along Route 7 for sixty days to gauge the effectiveness of having a cruiser posted up where people speed.
While town officials work to make the road safer, the community the community held a vigil to remember their classmate and loved one.
Principal Manka from New Milford High School released a statement on behalf of the superintendent, town council, and Board of Education.
Dear NMHS students and Families,
Unfortunately, I am very sad to inform you of the unexpected passing of one of our New Milford High School 12th-grade students.
At this time, out of respect for the family, we ask that we not speculate what may have happened in this situation but rather we understand that the passing of anyone from our community is a great loss which, in one way or another, affects each of us.
It is very important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, as each person will have their own experience and that experience is valid.
We will be providing counseling services and grief support for all of our students and staff beginning today, 9/23, and through next week. If you would like to come talk to a support staff member, please know the school will be open on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. These services will be set up in the LLC.
Members of the community gathered at New Milford High School Monday evening to mourn the loss of Julio Gomez.
“He was a delight and now that he’s gone it’s so miserable and heartbreaking,” said New Milford senior Aeryn Crosskey. “It doesn’t feel real until we go into class and we don’t see him there and that’s when it’s really going to hit.”
Anyone with information about the crash was asked to call New Milford police at 860-355-3133.
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