HAMMONTON — Friends and family of Christopher Goodwin are mourning a high school senior and track star who died Sunday morning in a single-car accident.
Goodwin, 18, was preparing to graduate with his senior class from Hammonton High School on June 12.
Hammonton police said Goodwin was killed around 1:36 a.m. Sunday when the vehicle he was in left the road and crashed into trees on Service Road in Hammonton.
Service Road is a 2-mile rural road between Eighth and 12th streets, bordered on one side by farms and the other by the Atlantic City Expressway in Hammonton.
The driver, a 17-year-old boy from Folsom, was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division, for treatment of injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
“The entire Hammonton school district is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Christopher Goodwin. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family,” Principal Thomas Ramsay said.
Ramsay said Goodwin played freshman football and ran indoor and outdoor track. He broke the school record in the 1,600-meter relay.
The district will provide grief counseling for students and faculty this week.
“It’s going to be a difficult week and a difficult end of the school year for everyone — students and faculty,” he said.
Classmates gathered at the school Sunday night for a candlelight vigil for Goodwin and his family. About 100 students and faculty attended, track coach Joe Thompson, of Hammonton, said.
“It was very emotional. You had so many people who wanted to show support for Chris and his friends at the school — everyone who was touched by his life,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the accident dealt a cruel blow to Goodwin’s classmates, who were preparing for graduation on June 12.
“This is a time when kids are supposed to be most excited about their futures,” he said. “Having to deal with these emotions when they should be focused on other things — it’s going to be really hard to balance out those emotions.”
Former Hammonton Track Coach Nick DeSantis said Goodwin was a dedicated athlete and a good student.
DeSantis, who left the district in March to relocate to Texas, said students reached out to him throughout the day Sunday.
“He was smart in the classroom. It was a major shock to hear what happened,” he said. “He was a big part of that team. He was a fun kid. He got along with people really well.”
The accident remains under investigation. Hammonton police said they are looking for witnesses to the crash and asked anyone with information to contact Cpl. John Panarello at 609-561-4000.
Contact Michael Miller: