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Jun 28, 2011 2:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quiogue Teen Mourned, Remembered At Candlelight Vigil

Jun 29, 2011 8:49 AM

As the sun set on the Village Green in East Quogue on Monday evening, nearly 200 friends and classmates—some carrying candles and flowers, others clutching old photographs—gathered to remember the young man whose life was cut tragically short in a car accident less than 24 hours earlier.

Cameron Nicholls, 18, of Quiogue had just officially graduated from the Westhampton Beach High School on Sunday afternoon, hours before the car in which he was a passenger swerved down Lewis Road in East Quogue, slammed into a parked BMW and flipped over. The driver of the car, Taylor Geib, 17, of East Quogue, who remained hospitalized earlier this week due to injuries suffered in the accident, was charged with DWI in connection with the crash, according to Southampton Town Police.

Although he did not walk with his peers while wearing a green cap and gown during Sunday afternoon’s ceremony, Cameron’s name was printed on the graduation program and, according to his friends, he had been excited to be headed to Dean College in Massachusetts this fall.

Teenagers clad in jean shorts and hoodies solemnly filed into the park shortly before 8 p.m. on Monday, lighting candles and standing together in small clusters. They gathered to share memories of a friend, classmate and boyfriend who was killed just a matter of feet from the park.

For Talia Rosmarin, 17, of Westhampton, the park was a familiar spot for her and her on-again-off-again boyfriend to meet and spend time together, usually on one of the facility’s wooden benches. Tears streamed down Talia’s face as one hand clutched the top of a picnic table under a tree where she and Cameron spent many evenings together—including the night before his death.

Talia recalled a night typical for most high school students. She, Cameron and their good friend Krissy Hoefer were parked in Talia’s car in the lot of the Village Green, blasting music, dancing and celebrating the beginning of summer. The playlist on Talia’s iPod included “S&M” by Rihanna and David Guetta’s new dance single “Sandstorm,” and according to Talia, Cameron grabbed her hand because he wanted to teach her how to “fist pump,” a dance made popular by reality television show “The Jersey Shore.”

Exiting the car after the impromptu celebration, the two settled on a nearby bench, with Cameron’s arm wrapped around his ex-girlfriend.

“All I want is for him to understand how much I love him,” Talia said as friends came over to present her with purple daisies at Monday’s vigil. “We were on the bench, and he was holding me like the week he met me.”

Talia said the two began fighting a short time later.

“Cameron was drinking and we got into a fight. I told him to find another ride home. I said, ‘Get out of this car, you’re being disrespectful,’” Talia said, gasping between tears and raising her arms to the sky. “Why didn’t I drive him home?”

Friends said that Cameron had moved to Quiogue from Arizona three years ago and, at his memorial on Monday, it seemed as though his entire graduating class, as well as many underclassmen, had gathered on the Village Green to remember a teenager who could “light up any room he walked into.”

An avid windsurfer, Cameron worked at Hampton Watersports in Southampton teaching his favorite sport and also was employed at the TJ Maxx in Riverhead. His friends said he could often be found at the beach, soaking up the sun or riding the waves.

The recent graduate had just made the choice to attend college instead of enlisting in the military, according to Talia. Though it was unclear what Cameron would have studied at college, friends said he was very excited to be moving on to the next stage of his life in September.

“He was doing really well,” said Krissy Hoefer, a lifelong East Quogue resident who will be a senior at the Westhampton Beach High School this September. “He was really excited to go [to college].”

It was not clear this week why Cameron did not attend Sunday’s graduation ceremony. Talia said her ex-boyfriend did not enjoy his time at the high school, while Westhampton Beach Schools Superintendent Lynn Schwartz declined to offer a reason.

Krissy explained that when she heard sirens blaring throughout the hamlet on Sunday night, her stomach dropped. She said she knew that something was horribly wrong.

“I came home and I heard sirens, and I had a feeling that I knew why,” Krissy said, fighting back tears. “Cameron’s dead.”

Known to friends as “Cammy” and “Cam,” Cameron was always there to give advice and offer a shoulder to cry on, according to Krissy.

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Cameron was not at the graduation ceremony because he was no longer a student of WHB. The Superintendent declined to comment because its no ones
business why.
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Jun 29, 11 5:31 PM
The confusion stemmed from the fact that he was in the program. I don't think anyone was trying to be intrusive they were just commenting on the original story. I haven't seen where anyone cares why, they just care that yet another young person died in a senseless accident.
By bb (907), Hampton Bays on Jul 2, 11 8:56 AM
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends.
I have been a firefighter and EMT in the Hamptons for over 15 years now and this never gets any easier. Please Do Not take my following question as rude or diss respectfull but rather as a much needed wake up.
Let me ask you all this question.
Every year around this time those of us in the Emergency Field see this type of tragedy repeat itself. Some young, full of life, loved member of our community gets hurt or even worse killed ...more
By MACK (50), Southampton on Jun 30, 11 8:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
I was thinking about this when I read (perhaps in another paper?) that there was an EQ boy & his WH friend were stopped and charged with possession of alcohol, among other things. They must have known or at least heard of this horrible accident. Yet, a few days later it didn't stop them from driving around drinking. Kids just never think it will be them. It's heartbreaking.
By bb (907), Hampton Bays on Jul 2, 11 9:06 AM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend