Support staff were on-hand at Emily Carr Secondary School in Vaughan on Monday to help students cope with the loss of one of their peers.

Daniel Zeno was a passenger in a vehicle that missed a turn on King Vaughan Road on New Year’s Day.

The car slammed into a tree, crushing its front end and trapping three of its five occupants. Firefighters extricated the victims and rushed them to hospital, but Zeno died one day later.

The other two boys and two girls inside the car, aged 15 to 17, suffered varying injuries.

One of the teens was critically hurt from the crash, but his condition has since improved. All are expected to survive.

On Monday morning, students from Emily Carr returned to class after the holiday break – the first time since the devastating crash.

Flags are flying at half-mast at the school and grief counsellors are available to help those struggling to come to terms with 16-year-old Zeno’s death.

“You can really tell,” student Julian D’Onofrio said. “It’s still the same but you can definitely feel in the school that there’s been a significant loss. It’s saddening to have this happen at our school.”

“It’s just a little hard knowing that someone in your community passed away,” said another student, who did not provide her name.

Dale Brusselers with the York Region Board of Education said it’s been a difficult day for both students and staff.

“Daniel was a very beloved young man, very well respected by his peers,” he said.

“As you can imagine the family is having a difficult time.”

There was no word from York Regional Police on whether charges will be laid in this case. However, they say the investigation is ongoing.

A third visitation for Zeno will be held today. His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.