Girl killed, three hurt in Westport crash; all students at WHS



A 16-year-old Westport High School sophomore was killed and three other Westport High School students were hurt, one seriously, in a single car crash late Saturday night in the vicinity of 1634 Drift Road in Westport.

The victim, Erika S. Hall, was the daughter of Nathan R. and Eileen M. (McQuoid) Hall of Westport.

Westport Police say that the car, a 1997 Toyota Camry, was southbound on Drift Road when it left the roadway at 11:24 p.m. and crashed into a telephone pole. The car then flipped over and came to rest in the opposite (northbound) side of the road.

The two back seat passengers, neither of whom was wearing a seat belt, were ejected from the car. One, Ms. Hall was pronounced dead at the scene. The other; an 18-year-old boy, was listed in stable condition in the intensive care unit at Rhode Island Hospital on Sunday.

The driver, a 16-year-old boy, and the the 18-year-old front seat male passenger, both of whom were wearing seat belts, were treated and released at local hospitals with minor injuries. Police have not yet released their names.

"Erika lived to experience every ounce of joy and wonder that this world had to offer," said her family in her obituary. "This joy expressed itself in art, music and dance and most importantly the lives she touched … She possessed a soul so wild, free and exploding with love that this world could not contain her."

The crash and its cause remain under investigation by Westport Police, Massachusetts State Police and the District Attorney's office.

Under Massachusetts law, a 16-year-old driver is not allowed to drive with any passenger under the age of 18 for six months. It was not immediately clear how long this driver had had a license.

Counselors were made available at Westport High School Monday to assist students with dealing with the tragedy,

"They and the school did a wonderful job in a very difficult situation," added Detective Antonio Cestodio.

Erika's funeral will be Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. at the Dartmouth Bible Church, 52 Morton Ave., Dartmouth, MA 02747.

Calling hours will be Friday, May 2, from 2:30-7:30 p.m. at the Lighthouse Assembly of God, 522 American Legion Highway, Westport, MA 02790.

Interment will be private and held at the convenience of the family.



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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.