A former high school rugby star from Basking Ridge leaped to his death from a landmark structure at the brand-new Hudson Yards in Manhattan over the weekend, authorities confirmed.
Peter DeSalvo, 19, a freshman at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, jumped to his death from the sixth story of The Vessel, 150 or so feet above West 33rd Street near the Hudson River, around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to published reports.
He didn’t leave a note, loved ones said.
DeSalvo, who was a member of SHU's rugby club, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, after jumping from the $200 million structure.
Ridge High School Acting Principal Karen Hudock and the school's assistant principals issued a statement:
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Peter DeSalvo, a 2019 Ridge graduate, passed away this weekend. We know that the community will be affected by this tragic loss.
When we hear of another person’s death, it is very common for our own feelings about death to surface. Your children may experience a variety of feelings related to death and dying. These feelings may focus on the person who has died, another person who died in the past, an impending death, or anxiety about death in general. These are all very normal feelings for children and adults to have. Accepting and validating your child’s feelings is beneficial. During the weeks and months ahead, confusing feelings may surface periodically. It is helpful for your child to discuss them with a parent or trusted adults.
As a district, we encourage you to listen carefully to your child. Professionals suggest answering questions openly and honestly as they occur, and letting children know that even adults do not have all the answers concerning questions about death. Many of us find this to be a confusing time and an awkward topic to discuss, but open communication is always the best path through difficult issues.
Below are some resources that may be beneficial in assisting you to understand the grieving process from a child’s point of view and to open the lines of communication:
● National Association of School Psychologists – Addressing Grief in Children https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/addressing-grief
● Mental Health America – Helping Children Cope with Loss https://www.mhanational.org/helping-children-cope-loss
● Child Mind Institute - Helping Children Deal with Grief https://childmind.org/article/helping-children-deal-grief/
● American Foundation of Suicide Prevention - Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Suicide https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/
We also recognize that additional support may be needed as school, at this time. Counselors from the schools are available for your children. Please encourage your son or daughter to go to the Counseling Department/Child Study Team if they need someone to help them process their grief. The Somerset County Traumatic Loss Coalition, a part of the Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center, has also offered their support to the district during this time and are on site at Ridge for additional support. For more information about this community agency, please visit http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/human-services/mental-health.
In this very sad time, it is important that we come together to support one another.
Sincerely, Karen A. Hudock, Acting Principal Ridge High School
Scott Graber, Assistant Principal
Cherie Howarth, Assistant Principal
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.