Hartford (WTNH) - Funeral services have been set for a Rocky Hill teen who died ina bus crash over the weekend.
Grief counselors were on hand at Rocky Hill High School and theGreater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science (GHAMAS) aspeople remember 16-year-old Vikas Parikh.
"It's one thing to die in a random car accident, but to knowthat there were other students there, to know that he was the onlyone who died, to know that there was probably teachers and a busdriver there, to know there was everything and he died. I mean,it's depressing," said Alex Welcher, a sophomore at Rocky Hill HighSchool.
Vikas was at the top of his class - but students say he was morethan the smartest kid - he was one of the friendliest.
"He was a fantastic kid, absolutely amazing. We are going tomiss him so much," said Sarah Pentland, a junior.
Parikh died Saturday when the bus he was in collided with astation wagon near Exit 46 on I-84 West, and fell approximately 20feet down an embankment. The medical examiner says he died fromblunt force trauma. The driver, 16-year old Christopher Toppi ofGlastonbury, has not been charged, but the investigation isongoing.
The crash has many wondering whether a seat belt could havesaved his life. Democratic state Sen. Don DeFronzo, Co-Chair ofGeneral Assembly's Transportation Committee, said he may submittinglegislation as early as today for seat belts on buses.
"There have been a number of studies by the national governmentthat seat belts are really problematic, that they cause moreinjuries than they would prevent," Sen. DeFronzo said. "But we'lllook at it more this year."
"We are wondering why there aren't seat belts on these schoolbuses," Mayha Parikh, the teenager's sister, told News Channel 8."If there are, why aren't students don't need to wear them."
GHAMAS is a magnet school where Vikas Parikh took advancedclasses in the afternoon. In the mornings, he went to Rocky HillHigh.
The school bus was heading to a robotics competition inFarmington when the crash occurred. Several others wereinjured.
Sen. DeFronzo said this is the first school bus related deathsince the 1970's.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 10 a.m.,at Carmon Windsor Funeral Home, 807 Bloomfield Ave., Windsor. Thefamily has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations bemade to Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 1933,Hartford, CT 06144 or by visiting www.hartfordhabitat.org.For online condolencesplease visit, www.carmonfuneralhome.com.
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