March 9, 2009

Waye's friends and classmates say they'll never forget him

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this story:

The desk where Henry Waye sat in English class at Bristol Central High School is covered with messages for the 14-year-old boy who lost his life last week in a hit and run accident.
“Everybody agreed that nobody’s going to sit in the desk for the rest of the year,” said freshman Nicole Mitchell, Waye’s friend and classmate.
Besides all the notes to their lost friend, Mitchell said, students wrote to Waye all over the whiteboards in the classroom.
“It’s not the most happiest room now,” said Mitchell.
But for Mitchell and other students who will attend Waye’s funeral service today – a bus will transport those whose parents give permission but cannot provide a ride, she said – life isn’t happy right now, either.
“People are talking about it everywhere,” said Mitchell. “A lot of us haven’t gotten sleep. Every time you close your eyes, you see it happening.”
Mitchell said she can’t fathom how anyone could have hit her friend with a pickup truck while he was walking home Thursday evening and not stop to help.
“Words can’t express how I feel towards this person,” said Mitchell. “I just can’t believe somebody would do that.”
Rumors are rampant, said Mitchell, and it’s hard not knowing exactly what happened to Waye that night. She said she learned of his death when she got to school on Friday morning. It wasn’t long after that she had to leave for home, she said.
“School’s been tough, that’s for sure,” said Mitchell.
But teachers have been supportive, said Mitchell. They offer to talk with students about Waye, said Mitchell, and that helps.
A history teacher who puts up a quote of the day on Monday put up “You’re buggin,’” a familiar phrase from Waye, and called it the quote of the week, said Mitchell.
Other teachers are giving up their free period so that Waye’s teachers can attend the funeral, said Mitchell.
Counselors have also been available in the school.
Mitchell said she and Waye had pottery and gym class together.
“He was my first friend when I came to Central,” said Mitchell. “I feel like I’ve known him forever.”
Mitchell said Waye was funny in a way that was goofy, never mean. He made stupid jokes that kept his friends laughing, she said.
He had a silly red shirt with a ketchup bottle on it, Mitchell said, that read, “I put ketchup on my ketchup.”
Nobody understood it, she said, but that was him.
On Thursday, many of the students plan to wear shirts they made in Waye’s memory, said Mitchell, and that night, his friends plan a candlelight vigil at his home on Hull Street.
“A lot of people just miss him,” said Mitchell. “A lot of people have a piece of their heart missing. It’s just a big hole.”
They feel a little better when they do things in his memory, said Mitchell, and stay busy.
“It helps keep his spirit alive,” said Mitchell.
In pottery class last week, the students were making coil mugs or vases, said Mitchell, and Waye vowed to make one three feet tall.
The art teacher said he couldn’t do it,” said Mitchell, so Waye was determined to prove otherwise.
His work was more than two feet high when he died.
“He ended up not being able to finish it,” said Mitchell.

And I wrote these:

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.


A MySpace memorial page for Henry Waye, Jr

RIP Henry Preston Waye, Jr (Facebook group)

RIP Henry Waye (another Facebook group)

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

rest in peace henry. as for the person who cut your life very short. i smell a big coverup somewhere. the public has a right to know who it is. no charges will be filed for months? so where is this person at home with his feet up knocking back a few buds? this is not justice for henry.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, here we go again digging into ongoing investigations. I'm all about open government, but not when it applies to investigations, internal, employee, criminal, or otherwise. Remember that poor guy from the Atlanta olympics bombing? His life was ruined because everyone decided he was guilty before the investigation was even over. I agree with the British system... no coverage of proceedings until the investigation process is completed. In most cases, they won't even cover it until there's a verdict. Our lynch mob/witch trial roots run too deep here, and I fear for anyone wrongly-accused who gets their face in the paper.

Anonymous said...

this cowardly, no-good, slimeball of a "human being" who snuffed out this handsome young man's life should be made to publicly confess to this crime, hand over all their worldly possessions to henrys' family, and be locked away in jail for the rest of their pathetic life. no plea deal, no barganing.

whoever you are, and we'll find out soon enough, i have no compassion for you.

as someone who knows, a parent should not have to bury their child.

RIP henry.....

-billy from bristol

Anonymous said...

If they had someone caught red-handed, we'd know by now. Just look at the recent Montville crash... we all see pics of this sailor guy who killed the Conn College girl. If the police aren't releasing a name, it's because they want to make sure they've got the right guy. They didn't have a suspect at the scene, after all. The fact that everyone is chomping at the bit for a name is all the more reason for the police to stay mum. I'm sure there'll be a name released in a week at most. Put down your pitch-forks and let justice come at the proper time, the right way.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the grieving family, this was mos likely an unintentional death. There have been actual murders in Connecticut (one in particular that sticks out to me is the Ebersol murder in Burlington in the early 80s) where the perpetrator is free (and in that case where the criminal was a "juvenial", he's been free for years).

Perhaps the lynch mob crowd should take into effect that the crime here will end up being "manslaughter" not murder and hope that our justice system works so that the criminal is prosecuted properly.

Anonymous said...

Agreed... the nutso reactions are not helpful or conducive to healthy grieving. This was not premeditated murder. The person's failure to stop and help was deplorable. But life in prison? All worldly possessions? Come on... come back to Earth, people. Sometimes I'm glad we don't live in a true democracy, because you people scare me!

Anonymous said...

This made me cry.

Anonymous said...

This was absolutely premeditated! Maybe not in the eyes of the law but this guy got in his truck drove somewhere and drank. He could have stopped after one or two drinks but continued on. He knew what he was doing. Don't day he didn't know what he was doing because he certainly started off his day with a plan. The only thing he didn't plan on was hitting a poor innocent kid.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no. You can stand on ten soapboxes for all I care, but no. Premeditated murder is when you say "I am going to kill this person" and you plan, you plot, you set it up, and you do it. It's not "you just cut me off so I'm going to kill you now" - that's 2nd degree. It's not "you just punched me in the face so I'm going to kill you"- that's 3rd degree. And it's CERTAINLY not "I'm gonna have some drinks and head home. *thud*" That's negligent homicide. That's like saying the moment you exceed the speed limit, you're a murderer because you woke up with a plan to speed, and the only thing you didn't plan on was rear-ending someone and killing them. No. Don't diddle with legal definitions because you feel like being preachy. Get real, and screw your head back into place.

Anonymous said...


I agree with you. Apart from the misinterpretation of the law, I have to wonder why people do this. Every time something terrible happens, all we hear are blood curdling and often graphic calls for vengeance. Quite frankly I am tired of it. It does not do anyone any good.