DERRY — A Pinkerton Academy student who died from injuries suffered in a New Year’s Eve car crash is remembered for his smile, sense of humor and athletic leadership.
Kyle Ross, 17, the driver of the car, died Wednesday afternoon from his injuries, Derry police confirmed.
Another Pinkerton student, Johanna “JoJo” Morse, 16, a passenger, remained in a Boston hospital with what officials described as life-threatening injuries. Her family issued a statement saying she was improving.
Kyle, a Pinkerton junior, had a positive attitude in school and life.
“He always had a smile,” said Kerry Boles, who coached Ross when the student played on Pinkerton’s state championship freshman baseball team two years ago.
“He was a nice kid I remember for giving a good effort,” Boles said.
Kyle did whatever was asked to help his team, pitching, playing first base and the outfield.
He led by example on the field, his former coach said.
“If there was a deficiency, he tried to work on it to make himself better,” Boles said.
His death was a blow to the Pinkerton community, the coach said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyle’s family,” Boles said. “This is a very unfortunate situation. You never want to see anything like that happen.”
Headmaster Mary Anderson seconded those thoughts.
“The Pinkerton community is heartbroken,” Anderson said in a statement issued by the school. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Kyle Ross and we offer our heartfelt prayers and thoughts for Johanna’s recovery.”
Johanna’s family issued a statement through Tufts Medical Center.
“We would like to thank our family, friends and the community for your incredible outpouring of love and support over the past two days,” the statement read. “JoJo is doing better today than she was yesterday.
“We look forward to constant, positive progress in her recovery,” the family said, expressing thanks for good thoughts and prayers sent the Pinkerton sophomore’s way.
Ross is the son of Bernie and Stasia Ross.
Bernie Ross is the owner of the Ross Wealth Planning Group, a Londonderry-based financial planning group. He has been a leader in the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, recently completing his term on the board of directors
Executive director Stacey Bruzzese said the Chamber had asked its members to keep the Ross family in their thoughts and prayers.
“Our entire board is just heartbroken over the entire incident,” Bruzzese said.
A third Pinkerton student also was hurt.
Thompson Upham-Davis, 16, of Chester, another passenger and a Pinkerton junior, suffered minor injuries.
The accident happened about 10:30 p.m. on Gulf Road when officials said the car struck a tree at high speed.
Capt. Vern Thomas of Derry police said the department’s crash team was continuing its investigation.
Funeral arrangements had not yet been released by Peabody Funeral Home in Derry.
Pinkerton announced grief counselors will be available for students tomorrow on the school campus.