16-Year-Old Bloomfield Girl Killed in Car Crash

Christina Lembo was pronounced dead shortly after the Honda Civic she was a passenger in was involved in an accident with a Camaro Saturday night.

[Updated 5:15 p.m. Sunday]

A 16-year-old Bloomfield High School soccer player died Saturday night in car crash that left four others injured.  

Christina Lembo was seated in the back of a 2007 Honda Civic when it was involved in a car crash with a 2000 Chevrolet Camaro at about 11:10 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Broughton Avenue and Walter Street in Bloomfield, according to a press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Lembo was transported to University Hospital in Newark, and was pronounced dead a short time later, the release said. 

“I heard, 'Bam!' Like a crunch. You heard glass breaking and people screaming,” said high school student Ashley Bieksha, 20, Sunday afternoon, who heard the accident happen from her home nearby.

Bieksha and her sister, Alyssa, 21, both attended Demarest Elementary School with Lembo, and know her older brother. According to Ashley Bieksha, Lembo was being driven to a sleepover when the Honda Civic she was traveling in was struck as it was turning left from Broughton Avenue onto Walter Street.  

“[Christina] was beautiful,” said Ashley Bieksha. “She was an angel. ... All of her friends are devastated.” 

Lembo played defense for Bloomfield High School's soccer team and wore No. 3 on her jersey. Late afternoon Sunday, a few of her teammates arrived on scene holding jerseys with the junior's number taped on.

Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Jason Bing released a statement Sunday afternoon saying the district opened the school for the girls and boys soccer teams and parents to meet with counselors and staff.

"On Monday, BHS will have counselors, coaches and teachers prepared to assist  students as they work through their grief, anger and sadness,” Bing said. "They will also be working with the Traumatic Loss Coalition.

"Principal (Christopher) Jennings and staff look to accommodate students needs throughout the day, week, and months to come. The accident is currently under investigation and we are awaiting more details."

“By all accounts, Christina was a great teammate, friend, sister, daughter and person; she will be missed,” he added. 

There were two other people in the Honda Civic and two in the Chevrolet Camaro at the time of the accident. All four were transported to nearby hospitals and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

A memorial with dozens of flowers and lit candles lined the curb on Broughton Avenue, near Walter Street, Sunday, as residents came to pay their respects. A small group of students, some donning Bloomfield High School sweats, stood on the corner across the street crying and holding each other.

Olivia Bell, 15, who played varsity soccer with Lembo and called the teen her best friend, said Lembo was just recovering from a hip injury and was excited to get back on the field. Bell said she last talked to Lembo about three hours before the deadly crash.

"You just felt safe when you were on the field with her," said Bell

Lembo was a star defender on the field and, in the classroom, was well-liked by her teachers, Bell said. The teen eventually wanted to go to college to become a physical therapist.

Family and friends will hold a candlelight vigil for Lembo Sunday at 8 p.m. on Broughton Avenue, friends said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly said in an email. The prosecutor's office is also waiting for the result of blood tests to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

"I'm trying so hard (to be strong)," said Deanna Laterza, choking back tears. Laterza also played soccer with Lembo and was her best friend since kindergarten. "Her dad just passed away five years ago. It's just so hard on her family."

This is a breaking news story. Check back on Patch for more information as it becomes available.

The Slingerland Family October 01, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lembo family. May God help you through this.
Ariella Aguiar October 02, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Hi Christina.Even though I didn't know u that well.U were a great person!RIP Christina!!We will miss u sooooo much!
Ana Villacis October 08, 2012 at 01:41 AM
i feel so sad! My prayers are with the family, RIP Cristina , i know you from my niece, I see you one time in her house,she was one of you best friend <3 ,
nancy October 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM
my condolences to the friends & family of this young woman. I may not have known her personally, but my brother went to school with her, knew of her, and respected her. It is a tragic way to die. she will be forever in our hearts!!! may god rest her soul!
BobbyK November 28, 2012 at 07:34 PM
As a resident of Broughton Ave for the past 31 years and a retired sergeant from Newark PD, WITH DEEP REGRETS, I have been waiting for a tragedy of this dimension for years. I have written emails, spoke to my councilwoman, at that time, about how Broughton Ave is an open race track from Bay Ave to Watchung Ave. One afternoon during the summer, the councilwoman was standing in my driveway and observed several cars going by at a rate of speed that would shock the conscious. And till today, nothing has been done on Broughton Ave. I have suggested more active and aggressive patrolling, speed bumps, enforce the speed limit and as we called them in Newark the "Ghost Cars" are absolutely useless. You pass these cars on Broughton Ave and you see piles of debris all around them and the car is filthy dirty. You can't even see inside. Don't you realize that the bad element of society sees this also. I beleive the speed bumps are the best approach. No additional manpower to enforce and a very small cost factor. In certain areas on Broughton Ave these speed bumps would resolve the issue immediately accompanied with much better lighting up and down the Avenue. God Bless Christina and may we all beleive she is in a much better place and sitting with God. My deepest condoleances to the family.


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