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Bridgewater NJ student killed while bicycling remembered


BRIDGEWATER – More than $30,000 has been raised in an online campaign to help the family of an 11-year-old Hamilton Primary student Saturday evening in the township killed’s Finderne section.

In a GoFundMe post by Andrea Dinis Henriques on Sunday night, $30,046 had been raised by 2:30 pm Monday to help the family of Victoria Bastos cover funeral expenses. The goal is now $75,000.

“There are not enough words to express the immense pain and despair of losing a child,” Henriques said.

In a social media post sharing the fundraiser Jennifer DaPonte said Victoria was a former student.

“But she was so much more than that,” Da Ponte said. “She was amazing, smart, funny, beautiful, silly, always kind and so full of love and light. I have a million memories of her, her sister and mom and dad. She and her family were my friends after she left my class and I adore them. My heart is broken for her, her family and friends.”

On Sunday, police said the girl died after she was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Fulton and 3rd streets a little after 6 pm Saturday, according to township Officer Kevin Florczak.

Henriques posted Victoria had been riding her bike with a friend on the residential street a block east of Finderne Avenue when the fatal accident occurred.

Police say township resident Maria A. Toribio, 22, was driving a 2021 GMC Sierra pickup truck north on Fulton Street when she struck Bastos on her bicycle in the intersection of Fulton and 3rd streets. The GoFundMe identified the juvenile cyclist as Victoria.

EARLIER: Young cyclist dies after being by struck by pickup truck in Bridgewater

Victoria was taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Somerset in Somerville, where she was pronounced dead.

Victoria is survived by her father Vitor Bastos, mother Cynthia Pereria and sister Natasha Bastos.

The fundraiser was created as an “effort to alleviate some stress from the Bastos’ family.” All of the proceeds will go directly to Vitor Bastos to support with the arrangements.

This accident remains under investigation by the Bridgewater Township Police Department’s Traffic Safety Bureau and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Florczak at 908-722-4111, extension 4130, or the Bridgewater TIPS line at 877-660-INFO (4636).

email: cmakin@gannettnj.com

Cheryl Makin is an award-winning features and education reporter for MyCentralJersey.com, part of the USA Today Network. Contact: Cmakin@gannettnj.com or @CherylMakin.

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