The friends of a high school student from New Jersey who was killed in a party bus accident on Friday have taken to social media networks to express their mourning.
David Fernandez, a 16 year old high school student from Sayreville, New Jersey, was tragically killed after he stuck his head through an emergency exit hatch in the roof of a double-decker party bus on which he was travelling. The bus was approaching a highway overpass at the time, and Fernandez was partially decapitated by the force of hitting the overpass.
Fernandez was in a group of around 50 students who were travelling to a sweet sixteen birthday party on the party bus that was travelling from New York City to New Jersey. The accident occurred at 6.30pm on Friday evening, according to police spokesperson Steve Coleman.
Fernandez was a popular student, with close to 1000 people joining a Facebook group just 24 hours after his death to honor his life and leave final messages to Fernandez.
The bus that Fernandez was riding in was transporting students from their high school, St. Francis Prep in Queens, New York, to the sixteenth birthday part in Garfield, New Jersey. Fernandez was transported to Hackensack County Medical Center after the accident, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The double-decker party bus was owned by Designer Limousine, a bus charter and limousine hire company based in Long Island. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the accident occurred on their well-known ‘largest party bus’ in the country. The company has referred the media to their media consultant, who has yet to make a comment on the incident.
A security guard. Alex Franco, who was present on the bus at the time, told the media that he had warned the high school students on the bus to keep clear of the roof hatch multiple times. Franco overheard the students complaining that it was too hot on the top deck of the bus, and went downstairs to ask the driver to turn on the air conditioning.
Franco then heard people screaming on the upper deck, and returned to the second floor, where he saw Fernandez’s body lying in the center of the aisle. The bus was stopped and emergency services were called immediately.
The exact circumstances surrounding the tragic accident are currently being investigated by the Bergen County Prosecutor, Mr. John Molinelli, who is yet to comment.