Death of third Darien High student ‘unbearable’ for community, superintendent says

Darien High School is coping with the “devastating” loss of a third student who has died in recent months, the district’s superintendent said.

Darien High School is coping with the “devastating” loss of a third student who has died in recent months, the district’s superintendent said.

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DARIEN — The deaths of three Darien High students in recent months have “devastated” the school community, local officials said this week.

Darien High sophomore Hayden Thorsen died last week, local officials said, further shaking a school community still coping with the deaths of two other teens since March.

“This is the third student that the school has grieved in the past two months,” Darien Schools Superintendent Alan Addley said in a statement. “The pain of losing these beautiful young lives is unbearable. It is devastating for the families, the school and the town. Our school community is understandably hurting from these tragic losses of life.”

Thorsen died by suicide, according to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

“Our entire school community is shaken by this tragedy and we will need to support one another as we mourn this unthinkable loss,” Darien High Principal Ellen Dunn wrote in a message to the school community.

Thorsen is the third Darien High School student who has recently died.

Matthew McEvoy, 17, also died by suicide in March, the medical examiner’s office said, and 16-year-old Henry Farmer died from a medical complication in April.

Darien Police Lt. Jeremiah Marron said they are investigating the two suicides, but do not believe they are connected.

“When we have two incidents of this type, and in the time frame it took place, it is incumbent upon us as investigators to closely examine the circumstances to ascertain if there are any potential connections,” Marron said. “As of this date, other than the fact that these two young residents attended the same school and were of the same age, the Darien Police Department has not identified anything to suggest that these two tragedies are related.”

In her message, Dunn shared a link for mental health crisis intervention services, and said those whose children need immediate support should call 211.

Addley said the school “is working closely with medical health professionals, the town and other agencies to support our students in the grieving process and to support their ongoing mental health.”

“As we support our student body, we remember and honor the lives of the young students who passed and continue to extend our heartfelt condolences to the parents and families of the three students.” he said.

Following Thorsen’s death, Darien High had a delayed opening Monday when Dunn said school faculty discussed how to address the situation with students. The school also postponed its junior prom, which had been scheduled for Saturday, to June 4.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 800-273-8255.