Western Connecticut State University

WCSU Remembers Lacrosse Teammates Killed in Colchester Crash

"Wherever they went, happiness, love, and laughter was felt by everyone who had the honor to be around them."

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The Colchester community continues to mourn the loss of two teenagers.

Wednesday, their college lacrosse teammates honored them.

Close friends Tyler Graham and Jacob Chapman died in a car crash in Colchester in the afternoon of October 22.

The 18-year-olds and another lacrosse teammate were in a car that tried to pass another at a high rate of speed when it veered off the road, hit a guardrail and many trees before it went down an embankment, according to police.

Western Connecticut State University community members and the teen’s families attended a vigil before the lacrosse team’s scrimmage Wednesday night.

Graham and Chapman’s numbers 31 and 32 were displayed around the WestConn lacrosse field, numbers these two freshman barely got to wear.

But, speakers say they had already made a big impact on campus.

“They had much greater impact far beyond our small little corner of the building, whether it was the ricocheting of lacrosse balls in the courtyard or the contagious laughter they always had,” said their dorm resident advisor Anthony DeZinno.

“Even more importantly were their characteristics off the field. Wherever they went, happiness, love, and laughter was felt by everyone who had the honor to be around them,” said WestConn lacrosse team captain Zack Santoemma, who says the team hopes to win a conference title in their honor.

In a statement, the players’ coach says the loss of Graham and Chapman is immeasurable.

He says the team will never forget the boys’ smiles, laughs, successes, ambitions and their love.

During the vigil, attendees also took a moment of silence to pray for a speedy recovery of a third teammate Trey Massaro, who was also in the crash.

The 19-year-old from Massachusetts suffered serious injuries, but the school says he’s expected to recover.

The families of Graham and Chapman have requested donations be made in memory of their sons to benefit future generations of lacrosse players.

The Tyler Graham Foundation has been created in his honor and the Chapmans ask folks to give to the Colchester Youth Lacrosse league.

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