Blogs > All About Milford and Orange

If you live, work, or simply just care about Milford and Orange, this is the site for you. We'll provide you with interesting news about these communities. Most importantly we want to hear from you. Feel free to contact City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey, at or Brian McCready, Milford Bureau Chief, at

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vigil held for crash victims

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— Jonathan Law High School and community members turned to song and prayer at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to mourn the loss of two teenagers, and to pray for the speedy recovery of a third who remains hospitalized after a car accident.
Braving the cold and rain, about 40 students, family members and parents, who were still reeling from the fatal crash, packed into the Gazebo on the Green for the vigil.
“I’m feeling sad, but I’m also feeling a little joyous seeing everyone’s face here,” said Alison Dolceacqua, of Hamden, grandmother of the late Jonathan Dolceacqua.
Dolceacqua, 18, was the back-seat passenger in 17-year-old Shawn Foley’s 1990 Nissan 240SX Feb. 11 when Foley lost control of his car, sending it skidding into a utility pole on the ring road that loops around the Westfield Connecticut Post mall. Foley and Dolceacqua were killed.
Front-seat passenger Michael Vicino, 16, remained in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital Tuesday night. Police said speed was a factor, and they are investigating witness reports that Foley may have been racing with another car.
Superintendent of Schools Harvey B. Polansky said the entire community was rocked by the car accident and Tuesday night’s vigil provided an opportunity for the students to come together and heal spiritually.
“It helps us to regain our commitment to faith, regardless of denomination,” Polansky said of the vigil. “It tries to bring some closure and to offer — in a spiritual way — to keep the memories of these young people alive.”
The Rev. Maurice Maroney, pastor of St. Gabriel Church, led the group in prayer and through a tearful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
When Maroney first came to Milford, he said, he noticed a sign with the slogan, “The little city with a big heart,” and said that slogan never rang more true, given the outpouring of support for the grieving families. “Even on this cold, chilly night I feel the warmth of Milford,” Maroney said.
Polansky said he was “never more proud of a group of youngsters than I have been in the last two weeks.”
Maroney spent part of Tuesday with Vicino and his family in the intensive care unit at Bridgeport Hospital. He said Vicino is recovering and appears to be very comfortable as “doctors are keeping him asleep.” He said the shared cookies that came as a gift forhe Vicino family wawith them, and said the familynted to express their gratitude for the support they have received. “I don’t think you know how much they appreciated your prayers, and words, the food and all the offerings that came their way,” Maroney said.
Alison Dolceacqua told the students assembled, none of whom chose to speak at the vigil, to “feel what you need to feel,” as they deal with the loss of their friends and classmates. She also implored them to take advantage of the grief counselors available to them at school.
Polansky left the group with the message: “You need to keep a positive approach alive, and that means taking on every day with your best effort, in their memory.”