Fairport High School grad found dead at college

Colleen M. Farrell

Dave Paddock wanted this to be a good school year.

He didn't want the deaths of the Fairport Angels – the five girls killed in a car crash in June – to hang over his school like a heavy cloud, like it did this summer as the community mourned.

The start of school, he said, provides a "return to normalcy." When classes began this week, the Fairport High School principal told his kids to acknowledge that pain, that grief, and to try to have a good year in honor of the girls.

Now, they'll be honoring another student.

David Andersen, who graduated from Fairport this year, was found dead in his dorm room at Brigham Young University in Utah, according to Paddock. College officials did not  return calls seeking details on Mr. Andersen's death.

"We're just a little bit stunned today," Paddock said late Friday. He sent out an e-mail to parents earlier in the day, expressing shock over another young life gone.

Outgoing, popular among students and teacher, bright; Mr. Andersen was a well-liked guy, said Paddock, who knew him well.

He played on the school's rugby and volleyball teams and sang in its choir. Paddock said volleyball players were to be informed of their former teammate's death at their practice this afternoon.

Word spread quickly through teen circles Friday. Paddock received about 15 calls and text messages from kids from the class of 2007, asking if the news was indeed true.

Paddock did not formally announce Mr. Andersen's death in school.

"The first two days of school I talked about the (June) tragedy and today, I just didn't want to do it again," he said.

Besides grieving for the family, Paddock grieves for his students who have to deal with another loss at such a young age.

The goal after this summer's tragedy, he said, was to get the graduates off to college. They started to move ahead, only to be bound together by loss again.

Counselors have already started to reach out to students and will do so again next week, Paddock said. The school will hold a moment of silence on Monday.

"We're just going to continue to do what we did this summer and that's reassure our kids that it's going to be ok and that we love them all," Paddock said. "And once again Fairport's going to have to come together to help us get through this difficult time, which we did previously."

Colleen M. Farrell can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 265, or at cfarrell@mpnewspapers.com.