Students, faculty and staff returned to classes today at Oxford High School after a deadly crash this weekend took the life of a fellow classmate.
Police said 15-year-old Brandon Giordano was a passenger in a vehicle when the driver lost control and crashed into a building on Route 67 Friday just before midnight.
Police said the driver of the vehicle, Eric Ramirez, and another passenger, Dion Major, were both transported to an area hospital for treatment.
Grief counselors were available at the high school Saturday night. School officials also said in a posting on their website that counselors and staff will be facilitating a discussion Monday morning for students.
In addition, the school will have counselors available throughout the week to anyone who needs them.
"Brandon was a very popular student here. He was an athlete with a great sense of humor. He will be missed," said Oxford High School Principal Frank Savo.
Giordano was a member of the Oxford High School football team.
Police said Ramirez was fleeing from officers in Seymour. State Police said they're investigating as to why, but Major's family said the police were trying to pull the boys over because Ramirez had illegal LED lights along the bottom of his car.
She said Giordano was asleep in the backseat when the chase began and woke up because Major was yelling at Ramirez to pull over. She said Ramirez sped around cars and into Oxford, and finally lost control when he tried to maneuver around a car on Old State Road.
On Monday, residents wanted to know why Seymour Police were chasing the teens.
"I can't quite understand this high speed chase thing, I thought those days were done. It's unfortunate," Bart Hogestyn said.
State Police told Eyewitness News that's something they'll be looking into during the investigation, but said it's the law in Connecticut to pull over when a police cruiser has its lights and sirens on.
State Police said they'll also look into whether Ramirez will face charges. He's at Yale New Haven Hospital in serious condition, according to the town's First Selectman.
While residents mourn a young life lost, officials said his mother is dealing with yet another tragedy. Her home caught fire when she left a candle unattended to get to the crash scene where her son passed away.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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