Florence teen killed in hit-and-run near bonfire in Hatfield

  • Jesse Johansmeyer died last weekend after being struck by a hit-and-run driver late Friday. This photo was taken by his sister, Willow Vandoloski.

  • Jesse Johansmeyer is shown in an undated photo taken by his sister, Willow Vandoloski. Johansmeyer was killed at the weekend after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in Hatfield late Friday. CONTRIBUTED/WILLOW VANDOLOSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 3/27/2023 2:01:12 PM

HATFIELD — A Florence teenager struck by a pickup truck in a remote cornfield in Hatfield died early Saturday morning at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Jesse Johansmeyer, 19, of Burts Pit Road, succumbed to his injuries at the hospital in the early-morning hours. He had been struck by the vehicle in a hit-and-run at around 11:30 p.m. near a bonfire in a section of Hatfield meadows off Great Neponset Road and South Street, close to the Connecticut River, the district attorney’s office said.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding Johansmeyer’s death amid reports the driver of the white pickup truck that struck him left the scene.

“This was a tragic hit and run incident in which Jesse was hit and left to die,” said Northampton attorney Tom Lesser, who is representing Johansmeyer’s family, in a statement. “If he had received medical care earlier, he would have lived. It is the request of the family that anyone with knowledge of the incident contact state police as soon as possible.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Hatfield police, State Police detectives assigned to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section and the State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section.

Johansmeyer, a recent graduate of Northampton High School, played hockey and lacrosse and liked to showcase his athletic ability, said Max Lockett, another recent graduate who was friends with Johansmeyer since the sixth grade. Videos shared on social media by friends show him pe rforming stunts such as jump ing off waterfalls and doing backflips in the air.

“He was genuinely the most loving kid out of anyone I’ve ever met,” Lockett said. “His goal was to put a smile on your face. He was just a riot.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call State Police or the Hatfield Police Department at 413-247-0323.

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