DERRY — Korey Traficante is being remembered as someone who could always make people smile.
The 17-year-old Pinkerton Academy junior's life is being mourned and celebrated by family and friends, many of whom are posting their thoughts and condolences online.
Traficante died Saturday in a car accident on Frost Road. He was a passenger in a car driven by his friend, Cameron Dearborn, 17, who was injured in the crash.
Traficante was enrolled in Pinkerton's ombudsman program, the Alternative Learning Center.
On Tuesday morning, Pinkerton Academy spokesman Robin Perrin said the mood at the high school was quiet.
When a tragedy like this happens, the school has counselors ready to talk to students about what happened and offer support where needed, Perrin said.
He said Headmaster Mary Anderson sent a message to parents this week, asking them to talk to their children and encourage them to share their feelings. Parents should be aware of any changes in a child's mood or behavior, while looking for signs of depression or anxiety following a school tragedy.
"We just started doing it," Perrin said of the letters sent home. "The experts tell us it's good that the parents know."
Perrin said the school places "memory boxes" around campus so students can write down their feelings to put in the box.
Earlier this week, handfuls of personal messages were left in the boxes, Perrin said.
A wake for Traficante is set for Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch Street, Derry. A funeral follows Saturday at 10 a.m.
Traficante, who lived in Salem before moving to Derry with his family 12 years ago, enjoyed snowboarding, riding dirt bikes and repairing cars, according to his obituary. He is survived by his parents, Kevin and Angela Traficante, and a brother, Kyle.
Family members could not be reached for comment. Dearborn's mother said it was too difficult to speak about the accident.
Jack Goterch, who near where the crash occurred, was the first to respond to the accident. The Saturn drove into a ditch, flipped over his stone wall and continued over a second stone wall before hitting the tree, he said.
"It was very dramatic," Goterch said.
This wasn't the first fatal accident in the area, he said.
In October 2006, his neighbor was killed and a passenger seriously injured in an accident down the street near 75 Frost Road.
Steven Miele, 23, of 16 Frost Road was killed.
Goterch said Monday that Frost Road has always been a street where young people tend to drive too fast. The road was also recently paved, allowing motorists to travel faster, Goterch said.
"It's an invitation to speed," he said. "Kids speed down this road all the time."
Goterch said curves in the road are problematic for drivers.
The crash remains under investigation, Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas said. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 432-6111.
Staff writer Julie Huss contributed to this report.
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