Two Bethlehem families are in mourning following a one-vehicle car accident that killed two teenagers and critically injured a third.
Jacqueline McHugh, 16, of Chrisken Drive, Glenmont, and Alexander Gould, 17, of Jacob Drive, Delmar, were killed when the car they were in struck a tree off Meads Lane Friday evening, Nov. 23, after veering off the road. A third person in the 1992 Acura, Brian Wood, 16, of Beacon Road, Glenmont, who was in the back seat of the car at the time of the accident, is listed in critical condition at Albany Medical Center.
Bethlehem police believe speed was a contributing factor in the crash, which continues to be under investigation. The accident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Friday and has shocked many in the Bethlehem School District.
Our entire school community is saddened and diminished by the loss of Jacqueline McHugh and Alexander Gould, said school Superintendent Les Loomis.
McHugh was a junior at Bethlehem High School who, according to Principal Chuck Abba, was very popular among her peers and friends and "very well respected."
"She just had a special warmth," said Loomis.
McHugh was a Votech student and studied computer applications. She was also employed at Delmar Place where she worked part-time serving residents in the dining room.
"Jackie was a fabulous employee," said Donna Sickler, executive director of Delmar Place.
"She had a fun, gentle way about her and she really epitomized living life to its fullest. We are deeply saddened by the loss to our residents."
School officials called Gould a real "success story" and someone who was able to complete his GED exam through his determination and hard work.
"He loved art and had a special ability as an artist," said Loomis. "He was always straightforward and respectful to everyone around him."
Gould loved music and art and was almost never without his very close friend, McHugh.