Somers High School and the whole Somers community are still reeling from the tragic death of senior Nicholas Coleman after a car accident in East Longmeadow on Wednesday.
“This is a tragic event for everyone,” said Superintendent of Schools Maynard Suffredini. “There are no words that can express our feelings of loss at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick and his family and he will always remain a part of us.”
According to Somers High School Principal Gary Cotzin, Coleman, a cross country runner and lacrosse player, is being remembered as a nice and fun guy with a contagious laugh and go with the flow attitude.
Cotzin said that a lot of kids are also remembering how Coleman, who was at the top of his class and was going to be applying to Cornell, would help them in their classes.
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It was a very quiet and sober day at the school, and Cotzin said that the normal daily routine wasn’t upheld, with students being allowed to feel their way through the day. Counselors were on hand to help any student who needed it, and the students were allowed to grieve in their own ways.
Cotzin said that the students were able to talk to each other, reminisce, and were also signing cards and posters. A couple photos on the “Remember Nick Coleman” Facebook page show that students also signed Coleman’s locker and hung his jersey in it.
Coleman, 17, played junior varsity lacrosse for three years and would have been playing varsity this year.
Somers High School Athletic Director Alan Walker said, “My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Nick’s parents and family as our community and HS students mourn the loss of their senior classmate.”
East Longmeadow Police Department Sgt. Pat Manley said that Coleman was traveling north on Prospect Street in East Longmeadow after just crossing into town from Somers. At that point, Coleman lost control of the vehicle and went off the road.
Manley said that the department received a call from a resident on that street at a little after 8 p.m., reporting that there was a car against a tree on the street. Emergency personnel responded and found Coleman.
There were no eye or ear witnesses to the crash, but a canvass of the neighborhood did reveal that a neighbor heard a fast car and then a “thump” at around 6:30 p.m. The neighbor looked out and didn’t see anything. Not realizing an accident had occurred, the neighbor didn’t call it in.
Manley said that the department doesn’t know for sure, but that it is suspected that Coleman could have been against the tree from as early as 6:30 p.m.
According to Manley, speed was a major factor in the accident and in the injuries Coleman suffered, and in the damage done to his Subaru Legacy.
Police are still investigating but Manley said that there is no indication of factors such as texting or substance abuse. The car was taken to a garage to be examined for defects and while Manley doesn’t know the results of that examination, he is unaware of any defects.
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