The 17-year-old senior class president at an elite New Jersey high school was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer after prom Thursday, hours before he was to be honored at a banquet recognizing extraordinary students.
Christopher Gibbs, who was set to graduate from Newark's Barringer Academy of Arts and Humanities later this month, went home to change his clothes after his senior prom wrapped up in West Orange , then made a quick 7-Eleven run around 11:30 p.m., a law enforcement source tells NBC 4 New York.
He was heading back to the Newark apartment he shares with his father, a two-block trip from the convenience store, and a truck hit him as he crossed McCarter Highway near Fourth Avenue, the source said.
The driver stayed at the scene and called for help. But Gibbs died an hour later at the hospital.
In a statement, Newark Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Cerf described Gibbs as a "beloved member of his school community," calling his death a "tragic accident."
Gibbs had been scheduled to attend Cerf's Superintendent's Awards Dinner Banquet Friday night; the ceremony recognizes students in three categories -- equity, effort and excellence. Gibbs was being recognized for effort.
"Our thoughts and sincere sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time," Cerf said.
Grief counselors were at the Barringer Academy Friday morning. Cerf said the school district would also work with administrators to support Gibbs' family and the larger community as it struggles to come to grips with the loss of the bright young man. He had been set to attend The College of Westchester in the fall.