BLOOMFIELD, NJ - A 15-year-old Bloomfield High School student fell from an overpass onto the Garden State Parkway around 10:30 p.m. last Friday, according to published reports. Her family says she jumped.
The tragic incident occurred in Nutley near southbound mile marker 151.5, law enforcement officials confirm. After falling into oncoming traffic, it has been alleged that the victim was then hit by an approaching car.
Bloomfield High School officials have released information identifying the student as Eva Smith, and the incident as a possible suicide. However, authorities have yet to issue a formal statement or cause of death.
Her father, Ronstin Smith, posted a tribute video about his daughter's death, indicating that the teen suffered from depression and ran away. He stated that, "...she jumped off of an overpass onto the parkway."
He went further to say that he wants to help others to know and respond to the signs when someone needs help. "When somebody calls out for help, you go out of your way and help them..." The father pleaded in his 1:48 minute video.
Smith further explained his reasoning for creating the video, "Depression is real. When someone says they want to die or they don't want to exist, you owe it to nature to help that person. Remember Eva seemed happy. She was always a bright light hiding a darkness that eventually consumed her. Reach out to your friends suffering from depression and be a support system for them. Give them every option so they don't take the shortest path away from their issues."
Bloomfield High School was open on Dec. 18 with counselors available for students as the community copes with the death of the sophomore.
A crisis team came to Bloomfield High School on Monday as well to help students and staff with the situation.
Board of Education President Jill Fischman offered thoughts and prayers from the entire board to the Smith family.
TAPinto Bloomfield will release additional details regarding this matter when they become available from the authorities.
Natalie Heard Hackett contributed to this article.