Exclusive: sisters of Brimfield crash victim remember brother as ‘happy kid he was’

Dominick Gardner just finished his junior year at Tantasqua Regional High School. His sisters spoke exclusively with Western Mass News Tuesday about how great o
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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BRIMFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News is bringing you an update following the tragic accident that took the lives of three teenagers on Sunday.

Community members have already gathered for multiple vigils, and have many planned throughout this week. Friends of one victim set up a memorial on his desk at Tantasqua Regional High School, where he attended class.

Dominick Gardner was only 17 and had just finished his junior year of high school. He was one of three teens killed in an early morning crash in the area of East Brimfield-Holland Road. The two other teens killed were the driver, 17-year-old Vincent Ardizzoni of Holland, and 18-year-old Shane Douglas of West Brookfield. One other 17-year-old survived the crash.

His sisters spoke exclusively with Western Mass News Tuesday about how great of a kid he was and how much he is already missed.

Nakkia gardener woke up Sunday morning to the most horrible news.

“My phone was lit up with messages from everybody,” she told us.

Her brother, Dominick, was in a car accident with three other teenagers and died from his injuries.

“He will be missed a lot,” Nakkia said.

Speaking with Western Mass News, she described Dominick as a sweet kid who loved life.

“He made a lot of people smile, day to day, even if he was having a bad day,” she recalled.

Friends and family members have already set up memorials and held vigils in his and the other victims’ honor.

“I didn’t realize how many people loved him like I did,” Nakkia said.

Dominick Gardner just finished his junior year at Tantasqua Regional High School. His sisters spoke exclusively with Western Mass News Tuesday about how great o

She shared with us a photo that she took from inside Tantasqua Regional High School. Students set up a memorial where Dominick sat during class. He was studying business at the vocational school.

“He just finished junior year,” Nakkia said. “He was about to be starting senior year.”

Nakkia said the four teens were very close friends.

Dominick lived with his stepsister, Alyssa Muse, for the past two years. She told us he was an amazing uncle to her children.

“There was this picture of them and it said, ‘This little girl is my life,’ and that hit me because she really was,” Alyssa said. “She used to go down and play video games with him. I have so many photos of them sitting in his room playing video games.”

Nakkia and Dominick lost their mother this past year. She hopes the two of them are happy together again.

“I hope he’s happy, at least,” Nakkia said. “He’s up there with my mom.”

Alyssa told us that she hopes people remember Dom for the happy kid he was.

“I don’t want anything sad to be remembered,” Alyssa said. “We are going to do a celebration for him, not anything sad, because he was a jokester, always around his friends.”

She has a message for young teens getting behind the wheel this summer:

“Always wear your seatbelt, please. Be careful out there,” Alyssa said. “Live for him. I want them to live for him because he didn’t get that chance.”

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by State Police.