Hundreds of young people turned out Monday at the Bailey Funeral Home for the wake of 14-year-old hit-and-run victim Henry Waye, Jr.
But even more teens joined online memorial sites that sprouted up after Waye’s death Thursday as students sought solace on familiar websites.
The creator of a MySpace page devoted to Waye, Bristol Central High School junior Noelle Rondini, said she established the site in memory of the friendly boy she’d known since sixth grade.
Rondini’s memorial page had 279 members Monday night. Two sites on Facebook had well over 400 members.
Central student Phoenix Pedrosa, a friend of Waye’s, said, “We all need to keep his memory alive and nowadays the internet is the best way to do that and reach the most people possible.”
Amanda Eagle, another Central junior, said she joined one of the Facebook groups even though she didn’t know Waye.
But, she said, “he was a student at my school. He will always be a member of the Bristol Central family.”
Waye died Thursday evening after a pickup truck ran into him on the wrong side of the road on George Street. The driver, who hasn’t been identified, didn’t even stop to try to help.
The boy walking with Waye, Logan Costante, described the vehicle to police, who found it 45 minutes later several hundred yards further up the street.
Waye’s friends, classmates and other young people have struggled to make sense of his death – and to search for something to do.
Derek Cody, a Plainville High School junior, said that on Saturday he bowled a perfect game that he attributed to Waye, who loved bowling.
“Thank you, Henry, for guiding my hand today to give you what you deserve,” Cody wrote on his Facebook page.
Nicole Mitchell, a Central freshman, wrote a poem for Waye that she posted online that included the line “Life can begin and end so fast/ The memory of Henry Waye will always last.”
Mitchell set up one of the sites. She said it was supposed to be a place to talk about Waye and their feelings about his death.
Eagle said that Waye’s death “has taught me that sometime life can be cut short so you have to live it to the fullest.”
Waye “was a kid that could make anyone happy,” Rondini said.
Police refuse to talk
Three days after the driver of a white Chevrolet pickup truck killed a 14-yar-old pedestrian on George Street and kept on going, police are still refusing to identify the man.
Lt. Edward Spyros said that because there is an ongoing investigation, he cannot say anything about who operated or owned the pickup truck, which has been impounded.
Spyros said that police were collecting evidence in the case and that charges may not be filed for months.
The Bristol Press filed a Freedom of Information request Monday for the accident report, police calls to the address of a suspect, the search warrant and other documents.
A George Street man, whose identity is known to the Press, owns a white 1996 Chevrolet pickup truck that was not at his home Monday. Nobody answered the door at his house.
Two neighbors said they could not say whether the police had taken the truck or talked to the man.
Spyros said he did not want to see someone named as a suspect who might turn out to be innocent.
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