PLYMOUTH, Conn. (WTNH) — The community is expressing its grief through flowers and messages left at the corner of Cross Road and Town Hill Road in the Terryville section of Plymouth.
That’s where a car filled with eight teenagers went off the road just after midnight Saturday and slammed into a tree, killing one of those young passengers, 17-year-old Vincent Cammarata.
News 8 interviewed Vincent’s uncle, Bryan, who told us trying to come to grips with what happened is still very raw and very tough.
“It’s very hard to comprehend,” Bryan said. “The entire family is pretty much numb.”
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Bryan says Vincent was very witty and an amazing musician. He graduated from Cedarhurst School in Hamden and was enrolled in an entrepreneurship program at Albertus Magnus College in Hamden. Most of the other eight kids in the car either graduated from — or still went to — Watertown High School. Watertown High was open Monday for friends and students to speak with grief counselors.
There was an outpouring of love at the site of the accident as people dropped by to leave those flowers and messages. Some even carved messages in the tree, like “R.I.P.”
“It is comforting for all of us,” Bryan said.
Another thing that might bring some comfort to Vincent’s family came from a woman named Sabrina. Her family lives near the accident scene. She and her husband ran out there to help the teens in the car after they heard a loud crash. Sabrina called 911 immediately and her husband, who’s a nurse, tried to provide medical and emotional comfort before ambulance crews could get there.
“He was talking to the poor man that passed and said hey hang in there,” Sabrina said. “They’re coming. You’re not alone. We’re just figuring out the best way to get you out of there.”
News 8 asked Sabrina if there was a message she wanted to sent to Vincent’s family.
“Yes, I do,” she said. “I think it’s very important that they know that he was not alone, that someone was there talking to him.”
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The messages left at the scene also show Vincent’s family that they are not alone. But, in his painful time of grief, Bryan, who is also a Naugatuck Police Lieutenant, says he has a message for any of you who have teenagers in your family.
“It would be my hope that people see this — the accident itself — and take a minute to talk to kids,” he said. “I don’t want to draw too many assumptions on what happened with the accident, but it’s never a wasted conversation to talk to kids about what could happen and distractions that can occur while you’re driving — driving too fast, driving in an area where it’s dark.”
Sabrina says one of the kids told her they were originally in two cars, but piled into one car when the kids in the other vehicle experienced car trouble. That will be part of the police investigation. Meanwhile, a memorial service for Vincent is scheduled for Thursday morning.
Yale University released a statement on the incident which reads:
The Cedarhurst School community is deeply saddened by the recent passing of one of it’s students. Vinnie Cammerata will be missed by all who knew him and whose lives he touched. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his family as they mourn his loss. The school will be providing counseling and support to all Cedarhurst students and their families as needed.”
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