Hamden Hall student dies after bicycle accident in New Haven

NEW HAVEN — A 15-year-old died this week after being hit by a car while riding his bike on Townsend Avenue, police said.

Zayne Thomas, 15, was injured in the crash in the East Shore neighborhood shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday, New Haven Police Officer Scott Shumway said in an email.

Thomas later died from his injuries, Shumway said.

Police did not say whether criminal charges would be pending.

Alder Sal DeCola, D-18, said he knows the boy’s family.

“The child was beloved; highly respected family,” DeCola said. “His loss had a big impact.”

DeCola said Thomas, a graduate of Nathan Hale School, was popular in the neighborhood, noting that he still hung out regularly with his former classmates even though they no longer attended the same school.

Alder Sal Punzo, D-17, said he helped Thomas teach Nathan Hale and also watched him grow as a baseball player as he played through the youth baseball ranks in New Haven.

Thomas was quiet by nature, he said — a talented, aggressive baseball player and a conscientious student.

“It’s a great loss for the community,” Punzo said. “He and his sister were model students.”

Thomas was in his first year at Hamden Hall County Day School, school officials said.

“Zayne was an academically gifted student and a good athlete who was popular on campus,” school officials said in a statement Thursday, also highlighting how Thomas participated in the final game of the season. junior varsity baseball team on Saturday – the day before the crash.

“After hearing the news of his passing, the Hamden Hall administration held a special high school assembly for students to share their thoughts on Zayne. Myriads of students spoke and noted Zayne’s willingness to help others, his affable personality and the smile that was always on his face, and the fact that he was kind, compassionate and caring.

At the assembly, school principal Bob Izzo praised Thomas, describing him as a model student.

“Zayne was a brilliant young man and everything we could hope for in a student. Five core values ​​are inherent in what we call the Hamden Hall experience: Excellence, Support, Participation, Responsibility and Respect Zayne embodied these five core values, and our school community deeply mourns his loss,” Izzo said.

The school offered bereavement counseling and support services to students, faculty and staff, officials noted.

“The safety and security of our students is always Hamden Hall’s top priority, as the environment at Hamden Hall has always been family-friendly and nurturing,” officials said.

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