Superintendent: Teen struck on Rt. 37 in Toms River was ‘great young man’
TOMS RIVER — The 17-year-old who was struck and struck and killed early Sunday morning on Route 37 has been identified as a sophomore at Central Regional High School and one of four children in his family.
Schools superintendent Tom Parlapanides identified the teen to WOBM News as Silverio Montes-Ponce, a "great young man" who was a member of the school's spirit club. He lived in the Bayville section of Berkeley Township, according to Toms River police spokeswoman Jillian Messina.
Messina said Montes-Ponce was leaving work just after 3 a.m. when he tried to cross the highway in the eastbound lanes just beyond the intersection with Route 166. He was struck by a vehicle driven by 46-year-old Mark Roma, a township resident.
Messina said Roma did not appear to be impaired and speed was not a factor in the crash.
Witnesses told officers that the teen was wearing dark-colored clothing when he entered the road about 60 feet from a crosswalk while a "no pedestrian" crossing signal was lit up, according to Messina.
Montes-Ponce was a "hard-working young man" who had a job after school and enjoyed working out in the school's weight room, Parlapanides said. He has a younger brother at Central Regional Middle School and two sisters in the high school, according to Parlapanides.
The superintendent said that part of the school's crisis team response to Montes-Ponce's death was to was have a guidance counselor follow the boy's school schedule. Staff also made contact with his friends and teachers to make sure they were aware of counseling services.
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