March 6, 2009

A sweet, happy boy struck down by hit-and-run driver

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this story:

Henry Waye was always smiling, said his friend, Hannah Oakes.
Oakes, an eighth grade student at Memorial Boulevard Middle School, remembered her friend Waye, who was killed in a hit and run accident Thursday on George Street, as a playful, funny boy who was as at home in a skatepark as he was in the bowling alley.
“He had lots of friends. I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t like him,” said Oakes. “He was really nice.”
Waye, 14, was a freshman at Bristol Central High School. He was also a beloved son, brother, grandson, cousin, nephew and friend.
“He will be greatly missed by his family and friends,” Waye’s family said in a statement that outlined his wide range of interests.
“He loved to cook and took great pride in treating his family to delicious omelets after church on Sundays,” his family wrote. 
Waye, who lived with his father, sister and grandmother on Hull Street, was also an animal lover, his family said, and had many pets, including a dog, cats, and a rabbit.
In school, Waye helped out, said Oakes, always lending the teachers a hand.
Memorial Boulevard Middle School art teacher Joseph Johnson said Waye was like his assistant last year, helping in the classroom and showing other students art techniques.
“He was a good boy,” said Johnson.
Johnson said Waye won a Silver Key Award in the highly competitive Scholastic Art Awards and Competition for a monoprint he did as an eighth grader.
“He took pride in it,” said Johnson.
The piece was a one-of-a-kind artwork that was done with a printing press, cut paper and ink, said Johnson. 
Johnson recalled the awards presentation at the University of Hartford, when Waye’s father, grandmother and sister attended the ceremony.
“Henry was just ecstatic,” said Johnson, who said he was happy to see Waye when he came back to collect the work this year.
“He told me he was going to frame it,” said Johnson.
Johnson said Friday he’d just found another piece of Waye’s work, a print that Waye called “The Wheel of Life” that had been on display in the district’s art show last year.
Waye was a hardworking student, said Johnson, one who experimented with different approaches and wouldn’t give up.
“He kept going and going and going,” said Johnson, “like an artist would.”
Besides art, Waye loved fishing and camping with his father, Henry Waye Sr., and younger sister, LeeAnn, his family said, and was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Plainville and the church youth group.
Waye, whose mother, Stephanie Sargis, died in 2002, spent “many happy weekends in Plainville” with his maternal grandparents, his family said. He also looked forward to attending “Teen Night” at the Plainville YMCA with his cousin, Brandon Sargis and their friends.
He was also an avid bowler, the family said, and took part in the Laurel Lanes Bowling League in Plainville for many years. His highest score, they said, was an impressive 235.
“He was a really good bowler,” said Oakes.
Waye and his friend Logan Costante were walking home from CT Bicycle Exchange on South Street about 6:30 p.m. Thursday with their bikes.
Waye’s family said he had a passion for skateboarding and biking and often spent time with his friends at CT Bike Exchange and the skatepark at Rockwell Park.
Oakes, who met the boys last summer, said they were best friends.
“They were like two peas in a pod,” said Oakes.
Police said it was because of Costante’s help that they were able to locate the driver of the truck that hit Waye.
A neighbor, Dan Bonham, said the boys were a hardworking pair who would stop by offering to do yardwork.
Bonham mourned Waye, calling him “a doll of a kid.”
Johnson said teachers at Memorial Boulevard are upset about Waye’s death and are also thinking about Costante.
“We’re worried about him,” said Johnson. “He’s a good kid, too.”
Johnson said he left school late on Thursday and saw the emergency vehicles on George Street.
“I found myself saying a prayer,” said Johnson. “I had no idea it was Henry.”

Statement issued this evening by Henry's family:

Henry P. Waye, Jr. (J.R.), 14, was a freshman at Bristol Central High School. He lived in Bristol with his Father, Henry, Sister, LeeAnn, Cousin, Taylor, and Paternal Grandmother, Arlene Waye. He was predeceased by his Mother, Stephanie Sargis in 2002. Henry was an avid bowler, having bowled with the Laurel Lanes Bowling League in Plainville for many years, his highest score being a 235. He was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Plainville and was very involved with their Youth Group. In 2008, Henry received the Silver Key Award participating in the CT. Scholastic Art Awards competition for a mono-print he created while attending Memorial Boulevard Middle School in Bristol. He enjoyed fishing and camping with his Dad and Sister. He spent many happy weekends in Plainville visiting his Maternal Grandparents, Edith and Gary Valencis and extended family. He always looked forward to attending “Teen Night” on Fridays with his cousin, Brandon Sargis and friends at the Plainville YMCA. He loved to cook and took great pride in treating his family to delicious omelets after church on Sundays. He had a passion for skateboarding & bike riding often visiting CT Skate Park and Rockwell Park in Bristol with his friends. He was also an animal lover, and had many pets including a dog, cats, and a rabbit. He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends. -- The Family of Henry P. Waye, Jr.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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My deepest sympathies said...

I cannot begin to fathom the pain his family is suffering. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Anonymous said...

To all of you who had left comments showing concern for the family involved I know it is appreciated.I am a friend of the family and our kids have gone to school together since day one.To all of you who are concerned with what the mayor did or did not really makes no difference.What matters is that the world has lost a GREAT kid and with that there is a tremendous amount of pain.I, like everyone, hopes that the driver of that truck gets all that he deserves and then some.The family has suffered enough through the years and I give them all my love.And to JR that happy go lucky smiling boy that was playing in my back yard not all that long ago, you will be missed terribly.Speaking for a small group of friends that have been on the phones and have sat and shed the tears with each other and as a mom who held my own children that now morn the loss of a friend please know that the bashing of officials and the questions as to why this or that isnt happening sooner isnt going to bring back the young boy that we know and love.

AMAMDA said...