WESTFIELD, NJ — Superintendent Margaret Dolan released a statement Sunday morning as the community learned about the death of a 14-year-old Theresa (Terry) DiFalco, who was struck by a vehicle on Central Avenue Saturday night.
Hundreds attended a vigil for DiFalco outside of Wesfied High School Sunday night. A prayer service for her is planned for Monday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Helen's Church.
“Words cannot adequately describe the sorrow we feel upon the tragic loss last evening of one of our Westfield High School freshmen,” Dolan said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her loving family and friends. Our school counselors and administrative team will be on hand to provide support and help in any way we can.”
Westfield High School Principal Derrick Nelson sent a letter to parents, part of which he shared with TAPinto Westfield.
"It is with a heavy heart that I have informed our Westfield High School community that one of our 9th grade students was involved in a tragic accident last night and has passed away. We are all devastated by these events and our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire family and friends," Nelson wrote.
"In addition to our high school guidance department, throughout the day tomorrow we will have grief counselors from Imagine, a grief counseling organization that works with young adults, for anyone who needs to speak with someone in the wake of this tragedy.
"Within the last 18 hours I have spoken with the police department, school administrators, teachers and parents all wanting to help in any way they can. It is times like these that I am the most proud of our community."
The teen died Saturday night after she was struck by a service vehicle driven by an off-duty New Jersey State Police Trooper, according to Union County Prosecutor Grace Park. DiFalco was preparing to act in the school musical and was reportedly playing a scavenger hunt game with friends from the play when she was hit.
For more on the investigation, click here.