Students at Western Connecticut State University are mourning the loss of a classmate. Michael DeAngelo, 19, of East Haven was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 early Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday evening, a large group of students gathered for a vigil on the campus in Danbury to remember a classmate, teammate and friend with a nickname of “Diesel.”
One by one, members of the WCSU baseball team lit a candle for their teammate.
"He was always just smiling, having a good time, head up,” Craig Frobel, a senior and member of the baseball team, said.
State Police said DeAngelo was driving on I-95 north in Old Lyme around 1 a.m. on Wednesday when his vehicle veered to the right and he crashed into a wooded sound barrier. He was pronounced dead a short time later. Troopers are still investigating how the crash happened.
“He's a one-of-a-kind kid, really," his teammate, Matt Greene, said. "He was a special kid and I'm just happy I got to know him for even a short time that I did.”
As a freshman, DeAngelo was already showing promise on the baseball field.
Last week, he hit a game-winning RBI single. It was his very first at-bat as a Colonial.
“In one chance, one pitch, he saw, he came through and won us a game by himself," Frobel said.
The university is offering counseling for anyone on campus who needs it.
The coach of the baseball team plans to honor DeAngelo at Saturday's game.
School officials said funeral arrangements had not yet been finalized.
“Always respectful; always had a smile on his face and I'll never forget that," John Duron, a friend of DeAngelo, said.