“Any moment that I spent with her was amazing.” Friends of Angelia Dominguez mourned the 16-year-old Tuesday. Dominguez was killed Sunday in an early-morning crash in Old Brookville. NewsdayTV’s Cecilia Dowd reports. Credit: Newsday/James Carbone, Howard Schnapp; Photo Credit: Isabelle Santos

A photo of Seaford High junior Angelia Dominguez, tied with red ribbon to a splintered tree in Old Brookville, marks the spot where she was killed in a crash early Sunday. Also tucked inside the ribbon were a teddy bear, a bouquet of red and white roses and a handwritten message: “Forever in our hearts, gone too soon.”

On Tuesday, friends and neighbors continued to mourn the 16-year-old's sudden death after crashing into the tree at 3:37 a.m. Sunday on Chicken Valley Road. Dominguez was driving a 2008 Nissan westbound near the intersection of Brookville Lane in Old Brookville, when she lost control of the vehicle, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene by a Nassau police medic, authorities said.

Three male passengers in the vehicle, ages 14, 15 and 16, all later identified as students at Hicksville High School, were taken to hospitals for treatment, according to police and school officials. The oldest teen was critically injured. Family members declined to comment and police would not update their conditions Tuesday or confirm their names because they are minors. Nassau police provided no additional details about what may have led to the crash.

Best friends

Isabelle Santos, 17, said Dominguez was her best friend and they had planned to go ice skating Saturday night with a group of friends, including some from Hicksville. Santos had to stay behind for her mother’s church event, she sad, but continued to exchange Snapchats with Dominguez until about 11 p.m.

Santos said the final time she saw Dominguez in person was in Spanish class at Seaford High School, where they sipped hot cocoa. She said they had planned to get an apartment together in New York City after high school while Dominguez contemplated going to college or joining the U.S. Marine Corps.

“We were talking about our future and how we only had a year and half left in high school," Santos said. "She wanted to start her career, but she didn’t know what she wanted to do yet."

The two became friends in seventh grade after Dominguez moved to Seaford, Santos said, adding that her friend loved the ocean, singing in the car, dancing and cooking.

“I started crying. It shattered my heart that my Angie's gone,” Santos said. “I couldn't fathom the thought of her being gone.”

A "social butterfly"

More than one person who knew Dominguez described her as “a social butterfly” who left an impression of everyone she met.

She often walked home from volleyball practice and helped take care of her three younger siblings.

“It’s a tragedy on our block. She had this presence every time she walked in a room,” said Janet Wozniak, 28, adding that she had known Dominguez and her family since they moved in across the street nearly four years ago.

“She was really friends with everybody and so many people she met,” Wozniak said. “She had a spirit that was just contagious. You wanted to be her friend and you wanted to talk to her. When she wasn’t there, it was noticeable.”

School district officials in Seaford and Hicksville sent letters to parents informing them of the crash and offering grief counseling to students.

Grief counselors on campus

"There are no words that we can share that can console the grief that Angelia’s family and friends must be experiencing at this time," Seaford High School Principal Nicole Schnabel wrote. "As part of Angelia’s community and extended family, we will do whatever we can to provide support and resources considering the horrible tragedy."

School counselors and psychologists said they will provide grief support to students throughout the week. A moment of silence was conducted to remember Dominguez during morning announcements, Schnabel wrote.

"We expect this will be an emotional moment for our building, and our staff has been instructed to refer any student exhibiting distress to the Crisis Intervention Team immediately," she wrote. "Throughout the week, we will continue to support grieving students through various intervention strategies, including visitations to physical education classrooms as an effort to offer additional grief support."

With Robert Brodsky and Cecilia Dowd


 

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