Wake and funeral set for teen killed in accident involving off-duty NJ state trooper

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Toni Yates has new details.

Grief counselors were on hand earlier this week at a New Jersey high school as students mourned the loss of a classmate who was fatally struck by a vehicle driven by an off-duty state trooper.

"All of us, not just children, deal with grief differently, and we're going to be looking for signs and we'll be speaking with students in different ways," superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan said. "They're going to have different needs, and some of them are going to require the structure of the day."

Hundreds gathered Sunday night for an emotional vigil at Westfield High School, where 14-year-old Terry DiFalco was a freshman.

"This was a great freshman, a great young lady, the whole world in front of her," Dr. Dolan said. "Everyone talks about her smile, that was constant. And she was a young lady who was a good writer. She was involved in our drama program."

The teen was crossing Central Avenue Saturday night when she was hit.

"She was just a great person," John Desena said. "She always smiled. She always made people's day better."

Friends gathered at the scene Sunday, laying down flowers in DiFalco's memory.

"She always had a smile on her face, no matter what was going on," Mary Weber said.

DiFalco was reportedly participating in a scavenger hunt with classmates at the time. It's not clear what caused the crash.

The trooper, who stayed at the scene, is not facing charges at this time.

Friends and relatives of DiFalco will pay their respects beginning Wednesday afternoon at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield.

DiFalco's funeral mass will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Helen Roman Catholic Church in Westfield.
Related Topics:
accidentstate troopersnew jersey newspedestrian struckWestfield
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