A 16-year-old boy who was a passenger in the SUV that plunged into the Don River is being remembered at his school as an outgoing and athletic teen with a good sense of humour.
Counsellors will be at Bayview Glen School, a private school in North York, this week to help grieving students handle the loss of their schoolmate and friend, A.J. Blugerman.
Blugerman was one of five people inside the 2009 Acura SUV that was travelling eastbound on Lake Shore Boulevard when the driver lost control sending the vehicle through a guardrail and into the Don River at around 5:30 p.m ET last Friday.
Four of the teens managed to escape from the vehicle, but police said Blugerman was submerged for almost 30 minutes.
He was taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in critical condition and died almost five hours later.
'Everyone would want to be friends with him if they weren't friends with him.'—Hanna Codesmith, friend
Friends of the Grade 11 student gathered at the scene of the accident today where bouquets of fresh flowers have been laid as a memorial.
Sitting next to her friend who choked back tears, Hanna Codesmith said Blugerman was "an all-around good guy, he was just liked by everyone."
"Everyone would want to be friends with him if they weren't friends with him," she said.
Codesmith said the other people she had talked to were still in shock, especially the other passengers inside the SUV.
"I think they feel really regretful," she said. "They feel like they could have helped more, obviously it's not their fault."
Walked the halls with a smile
At Bayview Glen School, the flags have been lowered to half-mast as staff prepare for an emotional return to classes after the Easter long weekend.
Blugerman had only been enrolled at the school since September, but head of admissions Judy Maxwell said he was "a well-rounded young man who had made a seamless transition to the school as though he'd always been here."
"Walking the halls he had a smile. He was everyone's friend," said Maxwell, adding that Blugerman had just returned from a service trip to Costa Rica over March Break where he made a "lasting" impression on everyone who met him.
"We're going to miss him dearly," she said.
Police said over the weekend that speed may have been a factor in the crash. There is no word if charges will be laid against the driver.