Four students who were set to compete in their conference championship track meet were pronounced dead at the scene of a brutal car accident Saturday night in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
The 17-year-olds, Christopher Desir, Eric Sarblah, and David Bell, along with 16-year-old Nick Joyce, were all Stoughton High School juniors and were described as high-spirited by peers. However, when students, faculty members, and loved ones learned of the boy’s tragic deaths, grief and sorrow soon followed.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” Stoughton senior Anthony Burke told Enterprise News.
A fifth student whose name has yet to be released is being treated at a local hospital. The five teens were in the vehicle when the car plowed into the tree. They were reportedly just coming back from paint-balling in Bridgewater. Police were called to the scene of the accident around 4 PM according to Enterprise. Pictures of the car accident show the car rolled over and was completely demolished. Bell died on his way to Brockton Hospital.
The news brought about a flood of emotions and deep mourning among the students at Stoughton High School.
“A part of me left with them,” said senior Matt Hadley, a football teammate to Bell and Joyce. “It’s surreal — it doesn’t feel real.”
The school’s superintendent Marguerite Rizzi, said during a news conference that the crash was “the worst nightmare of any school administrator.”
The track team attended the high school Sunday morning minutes before the Hockomock Conference championship and were greeted by their peers. They took a moment of silence to honor the four students whose lives were lost too soon.
Joyce was described as quiet, but a speedy sprinter on the track.
Solange Bell told Boston Globe that her son was a loving individual. “He loved his teammates and his friends like they were family. He was full of life,” she said.
Eric Sarblah, who’s the father of the victim with the same name, said the boys were close and that his son was “a good kid.”
Rizzi explained, “This is not the kind of thing you heal from quickly,” she said. “Recovery is long. We will be available for everyone who needs us for as long as they need us.”
Police officials said the car crash remains under investigation, but are considering excessive speed.
“I had class with David — he’d walk in every day and do some crazy dance moves,” Burke said. “David was a great person. He was going to do big things in life. I miss him to death.”