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May 6, 2009 1:01 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

School plants a tree in memory of teen killed in car accident

May 6, 2009 1:01 PM

Nearly three weeks after Pablo Saldivar’s death, his former classmates huddled behind the Bridgehampton Middle School to remember the teenager who had recently turned his life around just before losing it in a car crash.

The weather—gloomy, rainy and overcast—fit the mood of those who gathered last week to plant a magnolia tree in his memory.

“It was well-known that Pablo was making a change in his life, and in doing so he changed ours,” said Vanessa Rojano, referring to the fact that Pablo had been in some trouble with the law before he starting turning things around in the months before his death. “Pablo had an immense heart ... whether you encountered him laughing in the lunch cafe or smiling in the halls, no matter how you think of Pablo, he will always bring light to your heart.”

Members of the student council purchased the magnolia, according to landscape and design teacher Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz, who taught Pablo in one of her classes, because it will always bloom in the spring, at the same time Pablo was killed.

“A tree is just the best way to represent him, especially this one that blooms so beautifully this time of year,” said Nina Hemby, a sophomore on the student council. “He was always just good. He just seemed to shine a little brighter toward you, and I feel that’s what the tree’s going to remind us of.”

Pablo Saldivar, 16, died in a car accident on Saturday, April 11, in Southampton. According to a police, he was a passenger in a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro that was traveling westbound on County Road 39 at about 4:30 p.m. It was raining lightly at the time. After passing through the intersection with North Sea Road, police say, the driver lost control of the car, which spun on the wet roadway and crossed the double yellow line into the eastbound lane of traffic. An oncoming car struck the passenger side door of the Camaro at a high rate of speed.

At the ceremony last week, students read poems in memory of their friend, and then went to a spot next to the outdoor basketball court to plant the tree. Pablo had begun playing on the Bridgehampton basketball team this year, and it was one memory relating to the team that particularly stayed with Vanessa, who is a cheerleader for the basketball team.

“One of the things I felt that was really amazing was that even though Pablo was on the bench most of the season ... he still stuck with it,” she said. “He had this drive. He had this light about him. Even though he wasn’t the star, he would still go to every game. He was still on the team.”

The basketball team also brought out a memory for one of Pablo’s teammates, Cesar Banados, who explained that even though Pablo couldn’t always get a ride to practice, he still was there for almost every one.

“Sometimes he wouldn’t attend, or sometimes he was late because he couldn’t get a ride there,” he said. “But he always tried really hard to be there for the team.”

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My brother-in-law was the driver of the other car that hit the car Pablo was in. Unlike what the article says, his car WAS NOT traveling at a high rate of speed.
By kmart (1), East Hampton on May 5, 09 5:12 PM
bs kmart i was on location i am a member of the Southamtpon fd and you can see the skid marks
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on May 5, 09 8:32 PM
Kmart...its not about your brother-in-law, no one knows who is, no one cares. Note his name was not mentioned in the article. This article is about a boy gone to soon and his friends and loved ones doing thier best to cope. Respect that.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on May 5, 09 11:56 PM
Kmart, This is about a loving tribute to the memory of a friend. Please allow them their opportunity to mourn.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 6, 09 8:21 AM
I was at the tree planting and it was a very moving and somber time. These kids are still mourning their friend and it showed on all their faces. If in fact the other driver was speeding, he has to live with the fact he caused a fatal accident that took the life of a sixteen year old boy. I wouldn't want that for anyone. RIP Pablo.
By momofthree (7), Bridgehampton on May 6, 09 8:55 AM
What a wonderful tribute to Pablo. BHS students never fail to amaze me!
Its great how the admin has allowed time for the school time to morn and honor.
By hamptonchic (11), Bridgehampton on May 6, 09 12:24 PM
kmarrt, i am not here to fight with you about the whole terrible event of me losing a best friend. but what i will tell you is that i seen skid marks on the road in the news paper and you can't photoshop a picture of an accident thats impossible. i miss pablo very much.

By tpettaway (11), Southampton on May 8, 09 10:51 PM