East Hampton High School Graduate Dies in North Carolina Accident

Mario Mayorga, center, was struck and killed by a truck on a Greensboro, N.C., highway on Friday. A sophomore at High Point University, he was a 2013 graduate of East Hampton High School. Jacqueline Bates

Mario Fernando Mayorga, who grew up in Springs and graduated from East Hampton High School in 2013, died on Friday after being hit by a truck in North Carolina, where he was attending college. He was 19 years old.

The sophomore student at High Point University was on foot when he was hit on a Greensboro highway. According to the local Fox News station, it was unclear exactly what happened, but Mr. Mayorga's friends told investigators they had put him a cab after a night out. His family reported him missing on Saturday when they were not able to reach him. Police later identified him as a man who had been struck and killed on the highway more than 24 hours earlier. No charges have been filed against the driver of the truck. The investigation is continuing.  

Adam Fine, the principal at East Hampton High School, said word had reached the school about the former student's death. Mr. Fine said he knew Mr. Mayorga very well. "He was the complete package. A great student and more importantly a great person," Mr. Fine wrote in an email. "His smile priceless." 

Jacqueline Bates of East Hampton, a close friend of Mr. Mayorga's who considered him part of her family, said he always made her smile. He loved High Point University, and was constantly trying to recruit her to go there, she said.

"At Springs School, he was a natural helper, someone who assisted students and other community members when need be. He was a beacon of light for all those who knew him," Ms. Bates said, adding that she intends to start a scholarship in his name. As a high school student, Mr. Mayorga's accomplishments included taking part in the Harvard Model Congress in Cambridge, Mass. He was a part of the Century Club, the National Honor Society, and other school organizations. 

He was also a recipient of the Twomey Latham Community Service Scholarship in 2013, which recognizes seniors "with outstanding achievements in community service and volunteer work in their communities." He was studying business and accounting at High Point University, but had dreams of studying law at Georgetown University and becoming a lawyer, his cousin Ana Nunez said. 

Mr. Fine said a message has been sent out to parents, and he has spoken to students. Counselors have been made available.

Ms. Bates set up a GoFundMe account to collect donations for Mr. Mayorga's family to defray funeral costs and any other needs the family may have. "Mario was a kind soul and deserves nothing but the best. I think I speak for the entire community when I say that he will be laid to rest knowing that he was loved and cherished by all," Ms. Bates said. In one day, she raised $3,665 of the $5,000 goal. 

Funeral arrangements are being made through Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, and his services will likely be at the end of the week or beginning of next week, with a Mass at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton. He is survived by his parents, Nelly Vera and Orlando Mayorga of Patchogue, and half-siblings who lived in Ecuador. 

Ms. Bates is planning a separate service for May or June so that all of his friends, most of whom are in the midst of final exams in college, can attend. 

A vigil was held at High Point University on Saturday evening. Fox News reported that his classmates placed flowers on his car and painted a rock on campus in his memory. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity.

To donate to the fund for Mr. Mayorga's family, click here.

Mario Mayorga, right, met up with Cameron Yusko, an East Hampton High School classmate, for the Carolina Cup in Camden, S.C., in March. Facebook