Advertisement

Family, friends remember Bel Air teens killed in crash Friday

Family, friends remember Bel Air teens killed in crash Friday
(MATT BUTTON AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Marvin and Ryan "were really, really funny" teens who always made people laugh, friends and family said, remembering the juniors who died in a car accident late Friday night in Kingsville, turning a night of celebration into a tragedy for the Bel Air High School community.

Marvin Eudiel Hernandez and Ryan Thomas Harris, both 16, were found critically injured at 11:25 p.m. in the 6900 block of Mount Vista Road near Gontrum Road, where the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse they were in crashed into a tree, Baltimore County police reported.

Advertisement

Both boys were pronounced dead at the scene.

Ryan chose to be an organ donor, which brings a little bit of comfort to his mother, Sheri Trivane.

"My friend's son received a heart transplant, which inspired us to donate Ryan's organs. I saw how thankful she was for her child's gift and if we can help someone, this whole horrible nightmare won't be for nothing," Trivane said.

Before Marvin left for school Friday morning, he told her he had left a present for his mother in the kitchen.

"He said 'I love you,'" Santos Candida Hernandez recalled Tuesday afternoon. "I give you a present,' he said."

When Santos Hernandez went downstairs, she saw a bouquet of flowers on the counter.

Trivane said her son was an avid Orioles fan who loved playing all sports – he was on the JV soccer team as a freshman – and "he brought laughter to everyone who came in contact with him."

Ryan particularly enjoyed the Orioles this summer as they played their way into the playoffs. He not only took a baseball road trip with his dad, but also he went to eight or nine games with his mom, just the two of them.

Sheri Trivane is an avid Orioles fan and she would take Ryan and her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, members of the Orioles Dugout Club, to games throughout the summer, Trivane's longtime companion, Jim Roberts, said.

In August, Ryan went with his father, Michael Harris, to watch the Orioles play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. On the same trip, they caught a Brewers game in Milwaukee, Roberts said.

Marvin was the older brother of Onal Anthony Hernandez, 15, and the two would play sports together all the time, Hernandez said.

And when his stepsister, Julissa Nayeli Cantaroro Trejo, was born about six weeks ago, Marvin told his mother he couldn't be happier.

Hernandez said her son was "a nice person all the time" and he had fun. He liked to play basketball and soccer, too and was "very, very intelligent."

"He was a nice person, you know," she said.

Advertisement

"I feel very, very sad. It's hard to explain. It's not easy to explain right now," Hernandez said.

The tragedy struck just hours after Bel Air's homecoming football game, in which the Bobcats continued their undefeated streak by beating Perryville 42-12. Bel Air's homecoming dance was Saturday night.

Some students left the dance early, saying it was too hard for them.

"[We] just couldn't take it," Bailey Stierstorfer, 15, of Bel Air, said Monday afternoon outside the 7-Eleven convenience store just across Heighe Street from the high school. "It was a bad environment."

He said he and his friends stayed for 30 minutes to an hour.

Bailey sat talking with his friends, Lauren Quinn, 16, and Evan Sordillo, 16, both from Forest Hill, remembering their friends.

"It seems like there's something missing," Evan, a junior, said of the atmosphere at Bel Air High. "Everyone's crying, leaving school early."

Bailey, a sophomore, said "school will never be the same."

Lauren is attending a private school for her junior year, but she knew Marvin and Ryan during her freshman and sophomore years at Bel Air, and remained in touch with them; she was close to Ryan.

She remembers talking to Ryan during Friday's homecoming football game.

"He, said, 'I'll text you sometime,' and I said, 'Yeah,'" Lauren recalled.

Most students learned about the crash Saturday morning.

Evan said he had known Ryan since kindergarten and Marvin since middle school.

He called them both "life-of-the-party kind of kids."

"They were really, really funny and liked to fool around," Evan continued.

Bailey said he had only known Marvin for about a year, but he and Ryan grew up in the same neighborhood, and he had known Ryan since kindergarten.

He remembers seeing Ryan at neighborhood block parties.

"He always used to be the life of the party, even when we were 7 [years old]," Bailey said.

School administrators declined to comment on the situation, or the school's response directly, but Harford County Public Schools issued a statement saying grief counselors and other services would be available to students.

Marvin and Ryan's "passing has affected all of us very deeply and our hearts go out to their families and to all of those who have been affected by their passing," schools spokeswoman Jillian Lader wrote.

"We appreciate the outpouring of support and understanding from the community as we face our concern toward the well-being of our students as they learn to cope with this tragic loss," Lader said. "The most important thing we can do is to be supportive and encourage an open expression of feelings."

"We will try to maintain as normal a routine and structure as the situation allows," she also wrote. "We know that you will join us in our concern and sympathy for the families and thank you for your understanding and support."

Their deaths drew an outpouring of shock and sympathy, from the Bel Air area and beyond.

Patti Murphy Dohn, who recently retired as longtime minister of The John Carroll School in Bel Air, was among those posting condolences on Facebook and Twitter this weekend.

"It is hard to lose students, but to lose two is devastating to a school community," she said Monday by phone. "Young people take the death of a peer very hard, and with the timing being homecoming weekend, this tragedy turned a happy weekend into one of great sadness."

Dohn recalled an accident in 1981, shortly after she began teaching at John Carroll, when a "devastating car accident outside of Havre de Grace" left two John Carroll wrestlers dead and one in the hospital.

At least one of her former students texted her saying they were friends with Marvin or Ryan, Dohn said.

"Young people take the death of a peer very hard, even if they were not close friends, because it is unnatural for a teenager to die, especially unexpectedly," she said. "Parents and teachers should always be aware of the feelings of their students after a sudden death like this."

"I am certain that the [John Carroll] community is praying for all of these families," Dohn added. "The best way to honor the memory of these two young people, along with your prayers, is by doing acts of kindness for their families. Doing good helps the grieving process."

North Harford High School assistant principal Mark Truszkowski, who runs the North Harford Hawks page on Twitter, also sent "thoughts and prayers" to the Bel Air community.

He said he could hear conversations about the crash around school Monday and obviously some students knew the students who died.

Advertisement

"We sort of felt the need to just put a tweet out there because our kids are so connected, whether they are a North Harford Hawk or Bel Air Bobcat or Edgewood Ram or whatever it is," Truszkowski said.

Truszkowski said "just a simple tweet like that" lets students re-tweet it and share their sympathies.

"I have been an administrator for over 12 years and lost students, both to accidents and to sickness," he said. "It is always a tough thing."

Marvin lived in the 800 block of George Street and Ryan lived in the 400 block of Dellcrest Drive, according to Baltimore County police.

The crash, the cause of which has not been determined, remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Crash Team.

Advertisement
Advertisement