High school community mourns 16-year-old CJ Hackett after hit-and-run in Yonkers
YONKERS, N.Y. -- Charges are pending against a driver who allegedly fled the scene after striking a teenager riding a scooter in Yonkers. The 16-year-old died on Thursday morning.
CBS2's Tony Aiello spoke with heartbroken members of the victim's close-knit community.
They found comfort in each other's company on McClean Avenue to remember and mourn at the spot where 16-year-old CJ Hackett was struck while riding his electric scooter just after midnight Wednesday.
The rising junior at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains suffered head trauma and died Thursday morning.
"It's all around one of the saddest things. I feel terrible for the kids at this age to have to deal with it. I mean there's a lot of broken hearts today," said John Calise, a Sepinac parent.
Two of those broken hearts belong to Matt Hanley Senior and Junior - one of CJ's teachers and one of his classmates.
"He's 16, he's friends with everyone, the older kids, the younger kids. He has a little brother at home. Can't even imagine how he feels," Hanley Jr. said.
"Quick to smile, always looking to laugh," said Hanley Sr.
Wednesday night, several hundred gathered to pray for CJ and his family at St. Barnabas in the Bronx, and to pray for justice; Yonkers police said the motorist who struck CJ fled the scene.
Thursday afternoon, cops located the vehicle and driver. Charges are pending.
"Why him? Why didn't the driver stop? You just try to cope with it the best we can," said Calise.
The school family will support each other through the trying days ahead. Other families will give thanks for the gift of life as several of CJ's organs were recovered for donation.
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