Today’s news:

Francis Prep student killed in bus accident mourned by hundreds during candlelit vigil

Hundreds of teenagers surround a statue of Saint Francis during a memorial for Daniel Fernandez. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

Hundreds of mourning students gathered at St. Francis Preparatory in Fresh Meadows Saturday night for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Daniel Fernandez, a 16-year-old student who died in a horrific accident on a party bus the night before.

Following a private service inside the school’s chapel, teenagers processed to the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway, where they placed lit candles in front of a statue of the school’s patron saint.

As prayers were said, several students began to sob loudly.

Friends spoke of Fernandez as a good-humored boy who got along with everyone and was a talented artist.

Madden McDonagh, 16, who attended Our Lady of Hope Catholic school with Fernandez from fifth to eighth grade, said he was always kidding around and despite being a newcomer to the elementary school was instantly accepted by his peers, which she said was uncommon.

“I still can’t believe it,” McDonagh said. “I’m just shocked … I would never have expected something like this to happen.”

Fernandez died on Aug. 31 after sticking his head through the escape hatch of a double-decker party bus and hitting his head against the underside of an underpass.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group