A 17-year-old high school honors student on his way to prom with three other friends was killed when his car hit the back wheels of a tractor-trailer as he merged onto a New York highway Thursday night, authorities said.
State police say Armando Colon, a student at Middletown High School, tried to merge onto I-84 from State Route 17 and was speeding on the wet roadway.
His Acura skidded into a tractor-trailer in front of him, then veered off the road. Police said there was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved.
Colon was killed in the crash. A 19-year-old student in the passenger seat was treated for a broken collarbone, and two other passengers in the back seats were not injured, police said.
On Friday, Colon's family said he participated in ROTC and aspired to join the military. They said he had gotten his suit for the prom custom made and had been excited to show off his outfit.
"He was the best son that anyone could ask for," said Colon's sobbing mother, Elicia Hendrickson. "I can't believe he's dead."
Middletown Schools Superintendent Kenneth Eastwood said Colon was an honors student with a bright future.
"This is a very tragic event for us," Eastwood said.
School was not in session Friday but Eastwood said crisis counselors would be on hand Monday when students return.
"He was a great kid, he had no enemies," said Stewart Benitez, Colon's friend. "He was great."