Students and faculty at a Queens high school were among those attending a wake for 16-year-old Daniel Fernandez Monday. News 4's Tracie Strahan reports.
Students and faculty at a Queens high school are among those reeling from the death of a 16-year-old boy in a New Jersey party bus accident.
The wake for Daniel Fernandez Monday drew long lines of mourners outside a funeral home in Rego Park. Some had witnessed the tragic end to Fernandez's young life first-hand and were still shaken.
"I just can't forget it," said Natalia Darmetta. "He was just a good guy. He didn't deserve this."
The emotional toll of the loss was so heavy, emergency crews were called to the funeral home to attend to Fernandez's grandmother.
The teen was in celebration mode just days ago, traveling to a sweet 16 party in New Jersey on a double-decker party bus with 64 other teenagers. Just after the bus crossed the George Washington Bridge, Fernandez poked his head through a roof hatch, and struck a highway overpass in Fort Lee.
"We went from dancing and singing to, like, 'Oh, my God, what just happened?'" said Maria Oliveri. "We're still in shock."
A security guard was on board at the time. He said he had just gone to the lower level of the bus as it approached the overpass.
Corinne Blase, one of hundreds of mourning students, said Fernandez "wasn't a stupid kid."
"He knew right from wrong, and I just really don't know what possessed him to do that," said Blase.
Fernandez about to enter his junior year at St. Francis Prep.
"I still don't know how to react," said student Noah Buttner. "It's such a huge blow to our family at Prep."