FALL RIVER — School officials have confirmed that a victim in a fatal crash Friday was a senior student from B.M.C Durfee High School on her way to a prom at White’s of Westport.
Thomas Coogan, Fall River schools’ chief operating officer, told The Herald News that the victim is Hannah Raposo, 18, who was set to graduate and had recently been awarded the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Award.
Raposo was MedFlighted from the scene of the accident to Rhode Island Hospital but died of her injuries, according to a Massachusetts State Police press release.
A male in the vehicle who has yet been identified, who Coogan said is also a senior, was also taken to Rhode Island Hospital and is reportedly in stable condition with minor to moderate injuries.
State police reported Raposo was driving a Ford Explorer Sport Trac and traveling on Route 24 southbound in the area of Exit 4 when she lost control and the vehicle rolled over. Troopers reported an occupant had been ejected, but did not identify which occupant.
According to Bristol County District Attorney spokesman Gregg Miliote, no other vehicles were involved.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services and Bristol County detectives.
Raposo is the granddaughter of former City Councilor and Charter Commission Chairman Michael Miozza.
Coogan said Vice Principal Taylor Brown delivered the sad news to about 500 youths who were attending the prom and the mood, as expected, was very somber. School officials had placed an automated telephone call to parents and set up an area with administrators and counselors for the students.
The prom-goers were not allowed to leave the prom without their parents’ permission. Many parents picked children up. The prom-goers still had the option to going to an after-prom event at Durfee.
Massachusetts State Police had previously reported the accident occurred around 5:55 p.m.
Trooper Paul Sullivan reported at 7:45 p.m. that the roadways were open, but earlier traffic coming from I-195 westbound was at a halt and traffic on I-195 near Route 24 South was at a standstill.
State police reported earlier that they were on the scene investigating the incident and had been working with additional emergency crews.
“It’s a big loss for the family, and a big loss for the club,” Boys and Girl Club Board of Directors Secretary Robert Bogan said. “A lot of the kids come back and work there and work in the programs. That’s heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking.”
The scholarship Raposo won as Youth of the Year is named in memory of Bogan’s uncle, Paul Bogan.
“Hannah was voted the best of the best,” Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Peter McCarthy said last night. “We’re all in a state of shock. It just shows you how vulnerable everyone is.”
McCarthy said that Raposo was scheduled to be in Westfield on Sunday and Monday for the state Youth of the Year award selection. The interview process is on Sunday and the award dinner on Monday. Mimi Larrivee, the club’s teen director, was going to accompany Raposo to Westfield. McCarthy planned to join them on Monday.
Raposo was a club member from age 5 until she turned 18. She was a very talented artist, drawing and painting, and was a fine writer. “She kind of did it all,” said McCarthy a member of the Youth of the Year selection committee.
After Raposo won the Youth of the Year award, the club hung a plaque in her honor at the front of the club. McCarthy said it will hang there forever.
“Hannah devoted thousands of hours to kids at the club, hundreds a year, then you add it,” McCarthy said. “She was a great role model for young kids. She will be missed.
“As sad as we are, we are so proud of all the impact she’s had in her short life, and long career here.”
Raposo was recently presented an commendation for her award from the City Council.
After graduation Raposo was set to attend Bristol Community College in the fall to pursue an art or biology degree.
Source: Herald News