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Driver charged in fatal accident in Canton

Friends mourn Curry junior, 20

Evan Bard of Agawam died in Canton.

Evan Bard of Agawam died in Canton.

The driver of the car that crashed in Canton early Saturday morning, killing a Curry College junior, was charged with drunken driving and motor vehicle homicide, a Norfolk district attorney’s office spokesman said.

Sean Jackman, 24, will be arraigned Monday morning at Boston Medical Center, where he was hospitalized with head injuries after the crash that killed passenger Evan Bard, 20, of Agawam, according to David Traub, a spokesman for the district attorney. Jackman was also cited for speeding and a marked lanes violation.

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He was driving a Toyota Corolla that struck a wall and a tree on Bolivar Street just after midnight Saturday. Bard was pronounced dead at the scene. Jackman was in critical condition Sunday evening, according to a Boston Medical Center spokeswoman.

Bard, a junior nursing major, was an enthusiastic cheerleader with a contagious smile and a passion for her chosen career, friends said.

Her roommate, Sophie Geelhoed, also a Curry cheerleader and junior nursing major, said Jackman and Bard had attended the wedding of a friend of his Friday night.

The two had dated, but broke up after Valentine’s Day this year, she said, but Bard stayed in touch with Jackman and was on good terms with him and his friends.

Geelhoed and Bard lived in the same dorm building their freshman year, but really got to know one another when Geelhoed started cheering as a sophomore.

The two lived together on campus this year, Geelhoed said.

They took some of the same nursing classes, cheered together, and studied together.

“She really was good at balancing everything like that,” Geelhoed said. “She constantly had a smile, which was so contagious.”

As roommates, they would often argue about what to watch on TV as they fell asleep. Both were too indecisive to pick a show, Geelhoed said. They usually settled on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network.

“She’s totally go with the flow. You could put her in a room for two hours and she would never complain about being bored or anything,” Geelhoed said.

Tory Hoffman, a cheerleader and junior graphic design major who lived in Bard’s five-person suite, said Bard had talked to her about rooming together since they met at Curry cheerleading tryouts during their senior year of high school.

Hoffman said Bard loved watching movies; offbeat comedies like “Pitch Perfect” were her favorites. “She could quote like, any line from any movie. She always knew them,” Hoffman said.

Bard was one of the first people Hoffman met during cheerleading tryouts. Bard struck her as outgoing and fun, she said.

“The last time I talked to her about school was Friday morning; she was telling me about how well she did on all her finals,” Hoffman said. “When we weren’t cheering or in class, she was doing homework. She definitely loved being a nurse.”

Reached by phone, Bard’s father declined to comment.

Bard’s coach said the junior was “tiny,” at about 5 feet 2 inches, the kind of cheerleader people usually expected to see being tossed up during routines, her coach said.

But she was usually the one lifting teammates.

“You look at her and you go, oh, she must be the one in the air, and she was, at certain times,” said Nicole Bello, head cheerleading coach at Curry College.

“But most of the time she was the one lifting, and she did her job very well.”

Bello said Bard would help teammates who were struggling with moves. If she was not on the mat, she would stand nearby to cheer on teammates.

In April, the squad placed fourth in their division the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National Championship in Florida. “We’ve been watching the video from nationals over and over, and her enthusiasm during nationals was just — I don’t even know. We’re so broken right now,” Bello said.

Squad alumnae have been calling, texting, and reaching out to current cheerleaders on Facebook, making sure Bard’s friends are feeling supported, Bello said.

Curry College ended its semester with the last day of finals Saturday, and many of Bard’s teammates have gone home for summer, Bello said.

“Evan was just the most perfect cheerleader that I could have had, and the best person I could have had the honor to coach,” Bello said. “We will continue to carry Evan’s legacy out throughout the entire program, year after year.”

Gal Tziperman Lotan
can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com.

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