[Updated 5:15 p.m. Sunday]
A 16-year-old Bloomfield High School soccer player died Saturday night in car crash that left four others injured.
Christina Lembo was seated in the back of a 2007 Honda Civic when it was involved in a car crash with a 2000 Chevrolet Camaro at about 11:10 p.m. yesterday at the intersection of Broughton Avenue and Walter Street in Bloomfield, according to a press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Lembo was transported to University Hospital in Newark, and was pronounced dead a short time later, the release said.
“I heard 'bam' like a crunch; you heard glass breaking and people screaming,” said high school student Ashley Bieksha on Sunday, who heard the accident happen from her home nearby and ran to the scene.
Bieksha and her sister, Alyssa, both attended Demarest Elementary School with Lembo, and know her older brother. According to Ashley Bieksha, Lembo was being driven to a sleepover when the Honda Civic she was traveling in was struck as it was turning left from Broughten Avenue onto Walter Street.
“[Christina] was beautiful,” said Ashley Bieksha. “She was an angel. ... All of her friends are devastated.”
Lembo played soccer for Bloomfield High School, wearing jersey number 3. Many of her soccer teammates were at the memorial Sunday holding soccer jerseys with her number.
Bloomfield Schools superintendent Jason Bing released a statement Sunday afternoon saying the district opened the school for the girls and boys soccer teams and their parents to meet with counselors and staff.
“On Monday BHS will have counselors , coaches, and teachers prepared to assist students as they work through their grief, anger and sadness,” Bing’s statement said. “They will also be working with the Traumatic Loss Coalition.”
“Principal (Christopher) Jennings and staff look to accommodate students needs throughout the day, week, and months to come,” Bing said. “The accident is currently under investigation and we are awaiting more details.”
“By all accounts Christina was a great teammate, friend, sister, daughter and person; she will be missed,” Bing said.
There were two other people in the Honda Civic and two in the Chevrolet Camaro at the time of the accident. All four were transported to nearby hospitals and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
On Sunday, friends and family set up a memorial at the corner of Broughton Avenue and Walter Street. Pictures, notes, candles and flowers filled the corner of the residential neighborhood. High school students could be seen around the memorial, crying and holding one another.
An improptu vigil for Lembo was being planned for tonight in Bloomfield, several students and friends said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, wrote Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly in an email. The prosecutor's office is also waiting for the result of blood tests to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash.
This is a Patch Breaking News story. Check back for updates.