Students, friends and families in three communities are mourning three young men killed in a car accident Sunday through vigils and recalling fond memories.
State police confirmed today that Taahir Harris, 19, a Southington High School graduate, Kerion Rogers, 20, a Bristol Eastern High School graduate, and Moses Negron, 18, a New Britain High School junior, were killed when the car they were riding in went off I-91 in Enfield and struck a tree Sunday morning.
The driver of the car, Christopher Vega, 20, of Plainville, survived. His three passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Vega’s car was traveling south near Exit 47E when it veered off to the right side of the road, traveled through the grass shoulder and up an embankment and hit a tree, said state police, who have not released any other details about the accident.
“I was devastated to hear the news,” said 16-year-old Melissa Rodriguez, who said she has known Negron since childhood. “It was really hard to let it sink in.”
Like many NBHS students, Rodriguez has worn black for the past two days in memory of Negron. She’ll honor him by driving safely and always buckling up her seatbelt she said.
NBHS students will hold a candlelight vigil Friday at 7 p.m. for Negron at the Satellite Careers Academy at Roosevelt School, which he attended. Grief counseling has been offered to students, NBHS officials said.
“The students and staff at the Satellite Careers Academy are shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Moses,” said Principal Michael Foran. “He was well liked and respected at our school. His teachers describe him simply as a ‘great kid.’ He will be missed by all of us at the SCA and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Additional social work services are being offered to staff and students to help them cope, Foran said.
Students and friends have mobilized to help Negron’s family pay for his funeral expenses through a GoFundMe account and by selling necklaces that can be worn at Friday’s vigil.
Negron was known for his outgoing personality and ability to make others laugh, his long-time friend Marco Arroyo said. “He was a really funny person, a really straightforward person,” Arroyo said. “Everything about him gave off good vibes. There was no way you could be in a bad mood around him.”
“As former principal of Jefferson Elementary School, I had the privilege of knowing Moses,” School Superintendent Nancy Sarra said. “He was a kind-hearted and friendly boy, who was well-liked by his peers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time.”
Rogers graduated from Bristol Eastern High School in 2016. Friends will hold a candlelight vigil for him at the school Saturday at 7 p.m.
Harris played on the Southington High School football team. He also graduated in 2016.Southington school officials said they are working with students on a memorial event for Harris on Saturday as well.
Head coach Mike Drury said Harris was on the team from his freshman through junior years.
“He was a good kid to have in the program,” Drury said. “He worked hard every day and was fun to have around. It’s such a sad situation.”
“There’s going to be a lot of people affected by this,” Drury said. “A lot of the kids in the school knew Ty as did a lot of our former players. There’s definitely going to be a lot of people impacted by this and I’ve been there growing up. I’ve seen it, felt it and impacted just because you’re never prepared for something like this.”
“It’s just a tragic incident,” Drury added. “It’s such a sad thing that occurred and our thoughts and wishes go out to his family and friends.”
David Glovach contributed to this story.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.