Wake to be held for teen killed on party bus

September 2, 2012 10:01:41 PM PDT
A wake will be held on Monday for 16-year-old Daniel Fernandez, who was killed in an accident on a party bus in New Jersey.

Friends and family with gather at a funeral home in Rego Park.

Fernandez was killed when he stuck his head out of the emergency hatch of a double-decker party bus on Friday night, not realizing the Fletcher Avenue overpass near the George Washington Bridge was just above him.

He suffered severe head trauma and died at the hospital.

On Saturday night, hundreds gathered outside the school for a vigil, and struggled to come to terms with what happened.

You could feel the sadness while talking to school employees and former students like Amar Mehta who graduated last year.

"My jaw dropped. How does someone peep their head out?" Mehta says, "they were probably just trying to have fun and just yell a little bit and make a little noise. People do it on limos all the time."

The vigil was even more painful for the many students who were there on the bus when Daniel died.

"I'm just going to tell them to trust in God and ask for his strength," said Father Bill Sweeney of St. Francis Prep.

The students will embark on the new school year haunted by the death of their classmate.

"He's definitely going to be missed, I'll tell you that," said one student. "It's not going to be the same in school."

Anxious and nervous, parents brushed past the cameras Friday night to pick up their children.

No one else was hurt in the accident, but police say many teens were shaken up by what they saw.

Designer Limousines, the company that owns the party bus says they had two employees on the bus.

They say their emergency hatches were compliant with the law, but says it was a poor decision made by the students to open the hatch is what led to this accident.

There was also a chaperone aboard the bus at the time of the accident but it's not yet known where that chaperone was or what they were doing.


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