colchester

Coach of WCSU Lacrosse Players Killed in Crash Says, ‘This Loss is Immeasurable'

Western Connecticut State University/NBC Connecticut

Western Connecticut State University is providing counseling services after two students died in a crash in Colchester last week and the students' lacrosse coach and the school's athletic director have released statements about the loss.  

Eighteen-year-old Jacob Chapman and 18-year-old Tyler Graham, both of Colchester, died after a car crash in the area of Parum Road, or Route 354, and Lake Hayward Road at 1 p.m. last Friday.

A statement from the school said both young men were first-year WestConn students and members of the men’s lacrosse program. Chapman was a business management major and Graham was majoring in Management Information Sciences.

“We would first like to send our deepest condolences to the Graham and Chapman families,” WestConn men’s lacrosse head coach Ryan Cavanagh said in a statement. “This loss is immeasurable, but the love the boys created throughout their 18 years of life is also immeasurable. We will never forget their smiles, their laughs, their successes, their ambitions, and their love.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Chapman and Graham families,” WestConn director of athletics and recreation Lori Mazza said in a statement. “Tyler and Jake were great teammates, friends, brothers and sons and were loved by anyone who crossed paths with them. Their passion for life, their family, the game, their teammates and WestConn was so clearly evident, even as freshmen.

A third WCSU student-athlete, Trey Massaro, a 19-year-old native of Dalton, Massachusetts, was also injured in the crash. The school said he is majoring in Justice and Law Administration and suffered serious injuries but is expected to recover.

“We are all praying for a full and speedy recovery for Trey Massaro, who undoubtedly has a tough road ahead of him. His WestConn Lacrosse family is here to support him and his family in any way we can, and we are excited for his return, when he is ready,” Cavanagh said.

The school said the WCSU Counseling Center has met with players and coaches of the lacrosse team and will also provide counseling to students residing in the Litchfield Hall, as well as any students in need.

“Our team will try to find solace through the ‘Medicine Game’ and we hope this brings spiritual healing to our team and lacrosse community. The love we have for Tyler and Jake can be a form of powerful action if we all choose it to be,” Cavanagh said.

The university released information on services that will be held in memory of Graham and Chapman.

They said the wake and funeral for Tyler Graham will be at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Colchester. The wake will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and the funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The wake for Jacob Chapman will be at Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home in Colchester on Monday, Nov. 1, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The burial will be private.