Manchester students mourn the loss of La'andrew Evans-Swain
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Jul. 19, 2013
Members of the Manchester High School and Manchester Regional Academy communities came together on Wednesday, July 17, to mourn the loss of a student, 16-year-old La'andrew Evans-Swain, who - along with his older brother, 18-year-old Robert Swain - died in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday, July 14.
East Hartford police responded to the accident at Lydall Road and Forest Street in East Hartford at 4:15 a.m. There, they found a green BMW. The driver, an 18-year-old male, was not injured but was transported to St. Francis Hospital as a precaution.
A 20-year-old passenger was seriously injured, and was transported to Hartford Hospital. As of Wednesday, he was still in critical condition.
The Mid-State Accident Reconstruction Team responded to the scene. An investigation is still underway.
Bruce Thorndike, principal at Manchester Regional Academy, described Evans-Swain as an integral member of the community. “He was very friendly and very supportive of his peers,” he said. “When new kids came into the school, I knew I could count on him to teach them how things are and help integrate them. He had that quiet leadership.”
Evans-Swain attended elementary, middle and high school in the Manchester school system, and was well known in the school community. He was involved in the academy's sports program, played basketball and enjoyed mountain biking, especially on trails around Manchester Community College. He was involved in the academy's vocational program, and enjoyed working in the shop. He also had a job placement at Great Harvest Bakery.
Thorndike remembers him as a very kind-hearted and a gentle soul. “Everyone is devastated and is grieving,” he said. “He was a great kid. I know everyone says that when someone dies, but this kid really was just a nice, kindhearted boy.”
Manchester Regional Academy students were notified shortly after the death, and the Wednesday gathering gave students an opportunity to grieve for and honor their friend. Grief counselors were also available.
“His life touched a lot of people and we're all full of sorrow,” said Thorndike.