A third teenager has died after a tractor-trailer T-boned the driver's education vehicle he and three other teens were in as it went through a blinking red traffic light at an intersection in Orange County, Goshen School Superintendent Daniel Connor said at a candlelight vigil Wednesday night.
Lucas O'Connor, 16, was the third student to die. The fourth student, Claudia Krebs, 16, was released from a hospital Wednesday afternoon, Connor said. [UPDATE: Superintendent now says he's unsure of third teen's status in deadly crash]
Hundreds of teens, parents and religious leaders turned out at the vigil in Goshen to remember the three boys who died: O'Connor and 16-year-olds Antonio Baglivo and Paul VanDoran.
"They woke up in the morning, just going out in the car with their friends and having a wonderful day," elementary school teacher Joanne Karchawer said. "These things are so unexpected."
The parents of Baglivo were at the vigil, visibly devastated. His friends were there too.
"He was always into football," Davgil David-Gil, a friend, said. "He was so passionate about football."
Krebs was behind the wheel of the driver's ed car, owned by Middletown's Decat Driving School, as it approached the intersection of County Road 1 and Blooms Corner Road in Warwick Tuesday morning. A tractor-trailer neared the intersection around the same time as Krebs and her five passengers -- three 16-year-old boys and an adult instructor. The truck had the right of way.
Krebs' vehicle stopped at the blinking red light, then jetted into the intersection, authorities said the truck driver told them. The truck driver couldn't stop in time and slammed the rear of the driver's ed car. Krebs and 16-year-old Lucas O'Connor, who had been in the backseat, were airlifted to a hospital with critical injuries, authorities said.
The other boys in the backseat, Baglivo and VanDoran, were killed in the accident. One died at the scene; the other was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The 60-year-old driving instructor and the trucker, a 61-year-old Pennsylvania man, were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. All five passengers in the car were wearing seat belts, authorities said.
Goshen School Superintendent Daniele Connor said all four teens in the car were students at the district high school, which contracts with Decat Driving School in Middletown to provide driver's training to students over the summer.
One of the boys who died was going into his senior year; the other would have been a junior this fall. Grief counseling was available at the school Wednesday.
"This is a tough one,'' Connor said. "Both were outstanding young men, great students, fun to have in class, well-respected and well-liked."
A county official said the town has made multiple requests in the last few years to change the light from a blinking intersection to a full functional light because it has been a "difficult intersection."