NEWARK — Barringer High School was shocked and devastated to learn Friday morning that one of their hardest working and best-liked students had been killed after the prom the night before.

In what may be the season's first prom tragedy, 17-year-old Christopher Gibbs died shortly after being hit by a truck Thursday night.

Authorities say the senior class president was returning home from his prom when he was struck about 11:30 p.m. by a tractor trailer crossing McCarter Highway near 4th Avenue in the city's North Ward. The intersection, in a neighborhood of residences and stores, is not controlled by a traffic light.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office said the truck driver stopped, called for help and tried to help. The driver has not been charged with a crime.

Gibbs was taken to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:24 a.m. Friday.

Authorities did not release other details about the accident.

Principal Kimberly Honnick said Friday that Gibbs had been set to receive the district superintendent's 3E Award, which the district says is awarded to students "who relentlessly prioritize equity for themselves and others, show tremendous effort through diligence and hard work, and achieve excellent results in carving their own pathways to success."

"He was so excited about the dinner tonight and the award this evening," Honnick said.

"Chris was an amazing young man who truly embodied a spirit of generosity, kindness, and a loving heart."

He was also going to be a speaker at Barringer's graduation.

He had planned to attend the College of Westchester in White Plains, New York.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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