|A note and some flowers are tied to a tree where 17-year-old Korey Traficante was killed Saturday night.|
Union Leader Correspondent
Derry police say 17-yearold Korey Traficante of 158 Fordway St. Extension was killed when he was partially ejected from a 1998 Saturn after the vehicle crashed into a tree just before 11 p.m. on Saturday. according to Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas.
The vehicle’s driver, 17year-old Cameron Dearborn of 5 Frost Road, was airlifted to Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after the crash with reports of a back injury, Thomas said. Dearborn was also not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash, he said.
The first officer to arrive on scene Saturday night reported finding the vehicle sitting on its right side in the yard at 20 Frost Road. Traficante had been partially ejected from the vehicle and was unresponsive, Thomas said. Dearborn was found conscious, but trapped inside the car.
After being extricated from the vehicle, Dearborn was taken to West Running Brook Middle School where he was airlifted to the Boston hospital.
Hospital staff had no information on Dearborn’s condition on Monday afternoon.
Jack Goterch, who lives at 20 Frost Road, said investigators remained at the scene early into Sunday morning and returned on Monday afternoon, when investigators spent several hours recreating skid marks on the stretch of Frost Road, he said.
It was Goterch who first called 911 to report the crash just before 11 p.m., after hearing a screech and thump.
Friends and family returned to the scene Sunday and Monday, laying flowers, candles and notes in Traficante’s memory on a tree in front of the 20 Frost Road home.
“He had a heart of gold and was just a good kid,” said Traficante’s father, Kevin Traficante of Derry, at the scene of the crashMonday.“Koreywould’ve been a great contributor to society.”
And friends say the Pinkerton Academy student was upbeat and popular among his classmates.
“He’s one of those kids that doesn’t get mad. He’s just goofy and wicked nice and caring,” said 16-year-old Nick Ritcey, who said he’s been friends with Traficante for five years. “He was always looking for the positive and was friends with everyone.”
Ritcey said Traficante and Dearborn were good friends who bonded over a shared love of cars.
“(Dearborn) is a real redneck, you could say. He likes off-roading with his truck, and he’s always at the gym,” Ritcey said. “He’s a tough kid, and he’s going to pull through this.”
A woman answering the door at Dearborn’s address Monday evening declined to comment on Dearborn’s condition.
Both Traficante and Dearborn are enrolled at Pinkerton Academy through the school’s Alternative Learning Center, which offers independent study courses on a separate campus to help students who have struggled in a traditional classroom setting. According to school staff, Traficante was a senior and Dearborn a junior. Grief counselors were on hand Monday at Pinkerton Academy to help students deal with the loss and a moment of silence was held at the beginning of the day, said Robin Perrin, who spoke on behalf of the school on Monday.
“It’s always difficult to face the death of a student and today the entire Pinkerton community is in mourning for the loss of one in our community,” Perrin said on Monday.
Sara White, a former art teacher of Traficante’s, described the teen as a passionate student who was always quick to help.
“He cared deeply about graduating from Pinkerton and being able to make his parents proud,” White said Monday. “When Korey completed something he was proud of, his smile and energy could be felt by everyone.
That was always a reminder to me of why I became a teacher.”
And 15-year-old Stefan Burnett said he and his friends will try to keep Traficante’s positive spirit alive in the difficult days to come.
“He’s not a sad kind of kid, so I don’t think that’s what he’d want,” Burnett said while visiting the Frost Road site Monday.
Calling hours for Traficante will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium at 15 Birch St. in Derry. Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with a burial to follow in Forest Hill Cemetery in East Derry.
Derry police are continuing to investigate the incident. Anyone with information about the crash or Dearborn and Traficante’s whereabouts earlier on Saturday evening is asked to call the Derry Police Accident Investigation Unit at 432-6111.
Click here to link to Korey Traficante's obituary and information about services at Peabody Funeral Home.