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    ‘It’s really raw right now.’ Stoughton mourns after 4 high school students die in weekend car crash

    A woman placed a crucifix on a tree at the site of the deadly crash on Sunday.
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    A woman placed a crucifix on a tree at the site of the deadly crash on Sunday.

    STOUGHTON — Prosper Beaubrun, eyes welling with tears, struggled to speak.

    His 17-year-old son, Christopher Desir, was one of four Stoughton High School students killed in a horrific car crash Saturday.

    Standing in the driveway of the home Desir shared with his mother in Brockton, Beaubrun’s face was frozen with grief.

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    Finally, after a moment, he said simply, “I miss him,” before turning away in tears.

    Desir and classmates David Bell, 17; Eryck Sarblah, 17; and Nick Joyce, 16, were in a sedan that crashed Saturday afternoon in a rollover on Route 106 in East Bridgewater, according to the office of the Plymouth district attorney.

    Eryck Sarblah (left) and David Bell (right), both 17, died in the crash.
    Family photos
    Eryck Sarblah (left) and David Bell (right), both 17, died in the crash.

    The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton before being moved to Boston Medical Center, where he remained on Sunday, according to a district attorney spokeswoman. Police did not identify him.

    The tragedy left the young men’s families struggling with grief Sunday, surrounded by the protective love of friends and relatives.

    “The community of kids are so close, and David was like glue,” said Solange Bell, David Bell’s mother, during an interview at her home. “He loved his teammates and his friends like they were family. He was full of life.”

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    Eric Sarblah, the father of Sarblah, said the teens were all close friends and part of a “track group” at the school.

    “He was a good kid,” Sarblah said of his son.

    Isaac Sarblah (left) and Columbus Okai, the uncles of Eric Sarblah, spoke outside their nephew’s home in Stoughton on Sunday.
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Isaac Sarblah (left) and Columbus Okai, the uncles of Eric Sarblah, spoke outside their nephew’s home in Stoughton on Sunday.

    The crash happened when the sedan struck a tree around 4 p.m., Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz told reporters at the scene Saturday.

    Crews who responded to multiple 911 calls found that three of the teens — later identified as Desir, Sarblah, and Joyce — had died at the scene, Cruz said. The remaining victim, later identified as Bell, was taken to Brockton Hospital, where he died, Cruz said. It was unclear whether the teens were wearing seatbelts.

    “This is a tragic, tragic situation,” Cruz said on Saturday night.

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    The crash remains under investigation, and officials are looking at all factors in the accident, including raining conditions and speed, the district attorney’s office said in a statement Sunday.

    Grief counselors were available at Stoughton High School Sunday, Superintendent of Schools Marguerite Rizzi told reporters during a press conference Sunday morning.

    “We’re going to do everything we can to get our students, their families, any parents, and this whole community through this crisis,” she said.

    Four of the teens were juniors, she said, and one was a sophomore.

    Stoughton schools Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi spoke to the media Sunday outside Stoughton High School.
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Stoughton schools Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi spoke to the media Sunday outside Stoughton High School.

    At the school, cars carrying students arrived throughout the morning, and students could be seen gathering near one of the entrances. At one point, a group of young men wearing Stoughton High football jerseys gathered in the school’s parking lot.

    At a service held for the crash victims at Grace Church in Avon, hundreds of people — mostly young — filed in and greeted one another with hugs and quiet words of welcome. Overhead on three large screens were the words, “Praying for Stoughton.”

    During the service, some of those gathered openly wept as prayers were offered for each of the teenagers, by name, in Saturday’s crash.

    At one point, a young woman helped lead a friend out of the church as she brushed away tears.

    Pastor Sean Sears called on the grieving to turn their attention to God.

    “I want you to ask God to help you with your broken heart,” Sears said. “I want to ask God to comfort those who mourn.”

    Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
    Colin Sanda, 17, spoke about the two teens he played football with, Nick Joyce and David Bell.

    Among those at the service was Colin Sanda, 17, who played football in Stoughton with Bell and Joyce and said they were part of a “brotherhood” of football players. Sanda also spent time together with Sarblah and Desir in school.

    “All of them were a good time,” Sanda said.

    Stoughton High School’s boys and girls track teams were scheduled to participate in a meet Sunday in Canton.

    A woman at a Stoughton tent at the Canton meet said no track coaches were available to speak Sunday afternoon and implored a reporter to be respectful of the student athletes’ privacy.

    “It’s really raw right now,” said the woman, who did not provide her name.

    The event featured a moment of silence held in honor of the Stoughton teenagers, said Derek Folan, principal of Canton High School.

    At Bell’s home, family and friends gathered, and several of his friends had come by to pay their respects, Solange Bell said.

    A few grieving friends asked to touch some of her son’s T-shirts, just to have something they could hold onto, she said.

    She said her son, who grew up in Stoughton, was a good, respectful young man and a competitive athlete who played on the school’s varsity track, basketball, and football teams.

    Bell, a junior, was already being courted by several universities, and he planned on attending football camps, including one at Boston College, she said.

    During a brief interview at Sarblah’s home, his father said the teen was a responsible young man and a member of the school’s track team.

    He said the victims were part of a tight-knit athletic program at the school.

    Inside the home, family members had gathered and were waiting for more information from authorities, he said.

    Joyce’s family could not be reached Sunday.

    In Brockton, Desir’s aunt Guerdie Georges stood outside among family members and some of Desir’s classmates from Stoughton.

    Two girls embraced after a prayer service was held at Grace Church in Avon for the teens involved in a fatal East Bridgewater car crash.
    Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
    Two girls embraced after a prayer service was held at Grace Church in Avon for the teens involved in a fatal East Bridgewater car crash.

    “It is very tough for us. . . . We weren’t expecting anything like that,” said Georges.

    At one point, a woman’s voice could be heard loudly wailing, and some family members hurried inside the house.

    Beaubrun then spoke again briefly with reporters as he fought back his emotions.

    “He left, I’m not going to see him anymore,” said Beaubrun, clearly heartbroken, before falling silent.

    Desir was born in the United States, but his family is from Haiti and he spent part of his childhood there, Georges said. He survived the 2010 earthquake and moved to Massachusetts to live with his mother, Georges said. His father lives in Florida, she explained.

    He was respectful and acted as a big brother for Georges’ own daughter. Now the family is turning to their Christian faith as they grapple with their loss.

    “We just hoped for a miracle,” said Georges. “But we know for sure he is gone.”

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    East Bridgewater MA 5/19/18 A tow truck removes the wreckage from a multi fatal car crash on RT 106 West Street and Laurel Street. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:
    Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
    A tow truck removed the wreckage from a car crash in East Bridgewater on Saturday in which four teens were killed and one was injured.
    A woman became emotional while standing beside a tree at the site of the deadly car crash.
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    A woman became emotional while standing beside the tree at the site of the crash.
    Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi (right) walked back toward the school with an unidentified woman after speaking to the media outside Stoughton High School.
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Rizzi (right) walked back toward the high school with an unidentified woman after speaking to the media outside the school.

    Danny McDonald of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Andrew Grant contributed to this report. John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.