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May 13, 2013

OHS grad remembered for smile, caring

A 2012 Oneonta High School graduate who died Saturday was remembered as a student who enjoyed sports, had an infectious smile and helped others. 

Jared Trotti, 18, was found dead in a car at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the University at Albany, where he had been visiting friends, University Police said. A cause of death is pending autopsy and toxicology reports, police said, but the case isn’t considered a suicide or crime.

“It looks like it was an unfortunate and tragic accident,” Inspector Aran Mull of University Police said Sunday.

Trotti had just finished his freshman year at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

But many of his peers remain at OHS, where the school’s crisis team will be ready to assist students today, said Thomas Brindley, associate principal.

Brindley said that he was notified by Oneonta police about Trotti’s death Saturday, and that he heard that day from many students, parents and faculty who were shocked by the news. OHS enrolls about 560 students, Brindley said, and Trotti was well-liked and respected by peers and faculty.

“Jared was a great kid — he had this infectious smile, he had a great sense of humor,” Brindley said. “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the Trotti family. 

Trotti was active in the youth group at the First United Methodist Church and went on its mission trip to Jamaica to help build a school, said the Rev. Teressa Sivers, pastor of the Oneonta congregation. He was a mature, delightful young man, she said. 

“He was just this beautiful shining light — beautiful smile, tons of laughter,” Sivers said. Trotti recently had visited the church during a college break and spent a couple of hours with friends. His death was “our tragic loss,” said Sivers, who started the service Sunday morning with a moment of silence in his honor. 

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