When Brooke Wormstedt's father learned that his teenage daughter died in a vehicle crash Saturday on Abbe Road, he could not help but recall his own tragic time nearly 25 years ago on that same hilly stretch.
Mike Wormstedt, a teen in 1989, was -- like his daughter -- sitting in the back seat of a friend's car when it crashed in the same location. One of his friends broke his back in the wreck.
crash. "I survived, but my daughter didn't."
Wormstedt, of East Windsor, said his daughter, who was 15, and her friend, Matthew Masse, 18, of Vernon, were killed and three others were injured Saturday night at what's known as "the kid's spot," where young drivers speed over a large bump in the road for fun.
"Every kid wants to get that height," Wormstedt's friend James Campbell said, while pointing to the raised portion of the road. "Once you go over that bump, you catch air."
South Windsor police would not say late Sunday whether the bump in the road played a role in the Saturday crash. Police Chief Matthew Reed said speed was a factor.
"The car was torn up," Reed said, adding that debris from the vehicle was strewn in a field near the crash site.
Police said Sara Ballard, 19, of South Windsor, was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer on Abbe Road near Robert Drive at about 8 p.m., when the vehicle left the road and struck a tree in a wooded area between homes.
Ballard and passengers Christine Huppe, 17, of South Windsor, and Megan Barnaby, 16, of East Windsor, were injured, police said.
Reed said that the conditions of the injured girls was not available Sunday.
In East Windsor, news of the crash kept school officials busy throughout the holiday weekend as they prepared for what is expected to be a difficult day Tuesday for students at East Windsor High School.
East Windsor Schools Superintendent Theresa M. Kane said Sunday that the death of Wormstedt, a well-liked sophomore at East Windsor High, will be especially hard for the school's sophomore class.
Wormstedt's death, Kane said, comes just 10 months after the death of Nicole Weed, 15, another former student of the tight-knit class of about 100, who was killed in an ATV accident last July.
"We're anticipating that this will be doubly hard for them because unfortunately, this class has gone through this before," Kane said.
Kane said school officials since late Saturday have been working on plans for grief counseling at the school. Counselors from throughout the district are expected to arrive to school early Tuesday and remain there throughout the day to help grieving students.
"This is a small school; people know each other. This strikes home for many people because they know her, they know her family," Kane said about Wormstedt, who was on the track team.
Counseling will also be available at schools attended by siblings of those affected by the crash, Kane said.
Principal Edward Keleher described Wormstedt as "very intelligent" and friendly.
"She was the kind of kid who would give you a smile as you walked by in the hallway," Keleher said. "She was a great member of the sophomore class." Keleher said Barnaby is also a sophomore at the school but he declined further comment about her.
Father Knows Deadly Stretch, Crashed In Same Place His Child Died
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