EDISON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A makeshift memorial has been set up at the scene of a crash in New Jersey where authorities said a 15-year-old boy committed suicide by veering his car into oncoming traffic, killing two others.
Family friends have identified the teen as Srijan Saha, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported. Saha was a sophomore at John P. Stevens High School in Edsion.
Police said around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, he was driving on Route 27 near Stony Road when he swerved into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into a Nissan Altima.
The teen was killed along with both men in the other car, driver Mohammed Zia, 46, and his brother-in-law Ali Behzad, 35.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Edison police said while the specific cause of the crash remained under investigation, it has been classified as a “suicide-homicide.”
Saha’s family told CBS 2 they are overwhelmed with tremendous grief and can’t talk about the tragedy. It is unclear how Saha, who was not old enough to have a license in New Jersey, got the keys to the family car.
Law enforcement sources told CBS 2 Saha left behind a message on his body, but won’t reveal what it is.
Friends and fellow classmates at his high school said while Saha was outgoing, he was withdrawn this year.
“He was happy last year but I have heard from other people that he wasn’t acting the same this year,” student Kayva Kanthan said.
Others said he may have been a victim of bullying.
“They say they think this was actually caused by bullying and they say whatever they find out, whoever bullied him that caused this, will probably get into a lot of trouble,” student Pri Pulipaka said.
Friends said Saha was an amazing artist and liked to write rap songs.
“He loved to draw and he loved cars and he was very spirited and fun,” said classmate Luisana Henriquez. “I really don’t understand what caused this. If he did have a lot of friends, I don’t think he felt like he could go talk to them about stuff.”
“I was shocked, I didn’t know that he would do something like this,” Kanthan said. “It just left me speechless to hear that two innocent people died because of him.”
His family was struggling with unimaginable grief and was unable to comment on the tragedy.
For Zia’s family, news of the apparent cause of the crash makes their loss even more painful.
“Terrible, terrible I have no words to say,” said Zia’s brother, who did not want to be identified. “Why he did it a suicide? Two fathers , children’s fathers, I don’t know.”
In a note to parents posted on the school’s website, Principal Gail Pawlikowski said students were told about the crash by their teachers in homeroom. She said counselors will be on hand to meet with students if needed.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7529 or the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3373.
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