Albino Fernandes, known as AJ, an 18-year-old Falmouth High School graduate and former captain of the high school football team, died yesterday morning after he apparently jumped out of a moving car behind the East Falmouth branch of Falmouth Public Library at 9:35 AM.
Police did not say why Mr. Fernandes jumped out of the moving car, in which he was a passenger, or how fast the car was traveling.
Police Officer Clifford T. Harris was in the area at the time and immediately called Falmouth Fire Rescue for support, police said. The ambulance personnel treated Mr. Fernandes and took him to Falmouth Hospital emergency room where he was later pronounced dead.
Falmouth police said the circumstances which led to his death are currently under investigation. A statement issued by the department this morning indicated that no charges would be filed against the driver, whose identity was withheld because the incident is under investigation.
He was just a great kid. He was very popular with the student body. The kids are pretty much devastated right now.
“Based on what we know at this time, the Falmouth Police Department considers this event to be a tragic accident,” Lieutenant Brian L. Reid said, reading from the statement. “There is no indication that criminal charges would be appropriate. There are details of the event that remain unclear, and in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation we will continue to withhold the identity of the operator at this time.”
Falmouth High School Principal Joseph V. Driscoll said he learned of Mr. Fernandes death from school resource officer Andrew T. Loewen within 10 minutes of the event.
“He was just a great kid. He was very popular with the student body,” Mr. Driscoll said. “The kids are pretty much devastated right now.”
Word spread quickly through the school via cellphones, text messages and social networks. Mr. Driscoll made an announcement over the loudspeakers about an hour after he heard and the school held a moment of silence for Mr. Fernandes.
“It’s very typical of what happens when a young person dies today,” Mr. Driscoll said. “The word travels so fast.”
As they heard the news, students gathered in front of the school to mourn their friend. Guidance counselors and the school psychologist are available for counseling, Mr. Driscoll said.
“For some students who were extremely close with him, I’m sure it will change the rest of their lives,” Mr. Driscoll said.
School sports and events will go on as scheduled tonight, Mr. Driscoll said. “That’s what AJ would have wanted,” he said.
Mr. Driscoll said he had met with Mr. Fernandes on Wednesday, when he visited Falmouth High School. “He was bright and bubbly like he usually was. He just wanted to visit with his favorite teacher,” he said. Mr. Fernandes was full of energy, Mr. Driscoll said, and seemed optimistic about his future.
Mr. Fernandes told Mr. Driscoll he was working La Cucina Sul Mare and saving money for college. His dream was to play football, Mr. Driscoll said.
Students wore maroon and white to school today to honor their friend.