Second Needham teen dies after being hit by car
NEEDHAM — In places of worship, homes, and schools, residents of the town of Needham were in mourning Sunday after two teenagers suffered fatal injuries when they were struck by a vehicle while crossing the street the night before.
Talia Newfield, 16, and Adrienne Garrido, 17, both juniors at Needham High School, were hit while crossing Webster Street near the school Saturday evening, according to Needham Police Chief John Schlittler.
Garrido had been taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and she died from her injuries Sunday, according to the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
Newfield was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, where she was pronounced dead Saturday, said Schlittler.
The police chief offered details of the accident and victims during a news conference Sunday at Needham police headquarters that was focused on another tragedy that took place Saturday, the stabbing death of a 20-year-old woman who lived on Marshall Street in Needham.
That death is under investigation, as authorities also look into a Saturday stabbing attack allegedly by the woman’s boyfriend on his parents at a restaurant in Millis.
“This was a very sad day in Needham. There is no comparison to it,” said the Rev. Jim Mitulski, interim senior minister of the Congregational Church of Needham, during a phone interview Sunday evening.
At the press conference earlier in the day, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said one driver involved in the crash stopped for police, but officers “are looking at more than one driver” in the investigation. Details of the incident, which was reported to police at approximately 6:30 p.m. Saturday, were still unclear.
“It’s a complicated set of circumstances that they have to translate to try to figure out exactly what happened,” said Morrissey.
A Norfolk district attorney’s office spokeswoman said in an e-mail Sunday night that no arrests had been made. The crash continues to be investigated by Needham police, State Police, and the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
Garrido’s death was not revealed until Sunday evening. Earlier in the day, families and friends mourned the death of Newfield, with students gathering at Needham High School, where grief counselors had been made available from the school’s guidance department, staff from Needham Youth and Family Services, and staff from Riverside Community Care.
“We will continue to work with our community to start the healing process for the tragic events that occurred last night,” Schlittler said during a press conference Sunday morning.
Students and parents pulled their coats tighter against the frigid wind and biting rain Sunday as they hurried in solemn groups of twos and threes across the school’s parking lot to gather in the cafeteria.
Additional support and resources will be available to the school community through the coming week, according to school officials.
Mitulski said he opened the church’s doors and invited the community to gather for a prayer service that drew about 300 people from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday. The service attracted a large number of young people and their parents, many of whom were not church members but who wanted to be close to friends and loved ones during a time of grief, he said.
“What I said at the end of the service, as they looked at each other, was, ‘More life, more life, more life,’ because I believe that,” said Mitulski. “I hope it will kindle in them a memory that love is stronger than death.”
Responding to the deaths in the town also took a toll on Needham police officers, Schlittler said.
“We’re people, too. We have emotions, and I know they’re heartbroken,” said Schlittler. “It’s tough. . . . We’ll have grief counselors for our officers, too. And it was difficult for all involved.”
Garrido ran during all three athletic seasons, competing in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track, and Newfield ran cross-country for three seasons, according to Daniel Lee, the athletic director for Needham High School.
The school’s indoor track team wore black-and-white ribbons with “TN & AG” written on them in honor of their teammates while competing Sunday, according to Lee.
He said that “words cannot express” how much the two students meant to their teams, their school, and the entire Needham community, Lee said in a statement.
“This was a challenging and emotional day for the athletes, coaches, and everyone whose life had been touched by Talia and Adrienne. They were two special girls, who will be truly missed by all who knew them,” Lee said.
In an e-mailed message to Needham High students, principal Aaron Sicotte encouraged them to come to the school Sunday to share their grief.
“It is important that we come together to support one another in times like this,” he said. “It is also important to have a safe and supportive outlet for the emotions we are feeling.”
Early Sunday, in a separate e-mail to students and parents, Needham School Superintendent Dan Gutekanst described Newfield’s death as “a heartbreaking loss.”
Sunday night he sent another e-mail out.
“Saturday night’s accident on Webster Street took the lives of two amazing and loving young people, Adrienne and her friend Talia Newfield, he wrote. “I am at a loss for words at the moment, but I wanted you to know this information.”
And he added a quote.
“This evening I am reminded of a quote from American poet William Cullen Bryant who observed: “And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief.”
Correction: Due to incorrect information provided to the Globe, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of seasons Talia Newfield ran cross-country. She ran for three seasons.