Vigil held for brothers killed in East Hartford crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Vigil held for brothers killed in East Hartford crash


A vigil held in East Hartford on Tuesday evening for two brothers killed in a weekend crash.

Robert Swain, 18, and his younger brother, 16-year-old La'Andrew Evans-Swain, were both passengers in a BMW with two other people when it crashed in front of a Forest Street home.

Robert and La'Andrew Swain died in the crash.

The driver of the vehicle wasn't hurt in the crash, and the other person in the car was brought to a local hospital.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The community is gathering for a vigil at East Hartford High School on Tuesday night to remember them both.

"It was just one of those things, like disarray, disbelief, can't process it," said La'Andrew's brother Tiedah Evans. "You're like, just wake me up from this nightmare."

Candles were lit near a rock that was painted in memory of the brothers, Robert and La'Andrew Swain.

La'Andrew, who was known as Andrew or Drew by his family and friends, lived with his mom in neighboring Manchester.

Robert lived in East Hartford with his and La'Andrew's father. La'Andrew would often spend weekends there.

La'Andrew Evans-Swain was known as a leader and would help others at Manchester Regional Academy, which is a small alternative high school. Evans said he loved basketball and dancing, and had dozens of friends.

"It's just one of those things you just, you can't even explain, really can't explain," Evans said. "He's my little brother and I love him."

Robert Swain had just graduated from East Hartford High School and was set to attend Mount Ida College this fall. East Hartford Superintendent Nate Quesnel told Eyewitness News he was a standout in volleyball, wrestling, and football.

"I know he had a lot of big things coming his way," Evans said. "He was getting ready to go to college, play sports, go for a football scholarship. It's just so crazy. He's here one day and gone the next."

The mayor said counseling was on hand for anyone who needs it Tuesday and Wednesday.

The family is working on funeral arrangements for late this week and early next week. They're waiting for more family to travel in from out-of-state.

Manchester Regional Academy is planning a gathering for students to honor La'Andrew Wednesday. The open house will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to give kids, teachers, and staff a chance to grieve together.

Friends and family told Eyewitness News they're all coming together to try to cope.

"There was a time at the end of the school year when we shook hands and said 'see you over the summer,'" friend Paul Dineen said.

He said he never imagined graduation would be the last time he saw Robert alive.

"He was a really nice guy," Dineen said. "Always trying to make everyone laugh. He was really outgoing and a really good spirit to have around in class."

"It's truly saddening and horrific that someone we knew so well is gone so soon," Dineen said.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.