Virginia Beach community rallies to support Normile family after 2nd recent tragedy
By Jimmy LaRoue
The Kellam High School and Virginia Rush soccer programs are still grieving over the loss of James Patrick Normile V, who died in a single-vehicle accident in the early morning hours of Apr. 17 (Link: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/04/fatal-crash-suffolk-brings-2nd-tragic-blow-family). He was 16.
Normile, a popular student at Kellam, was a sophomore on the school’s junior varsity team and a member of Rush.
He was traveling home with his family from Florida after a vacation in Puerto Rico when a sport utility vehicle driven by his father, Jay Normile, struck a culvert and overturned in Suffolk on a dangerous stretch of US-58.
Two members of the family, his mother Elise and 3-year old sister Lola, were ejected from the vehicle, and two others, 17-year old Gaela and 10-year old Jack, were pinned inside.
All survived except for James, who had just returned to the lineup on Kellam’s JV team and had scored his first goal in a game against Salem just prior to spring break.
Unfortunately, the Normiles are no stranger to tragedy.
Nearly a year ago, on May 21, 2011, the Normiles’ then-2-year old son Charlie, twin of Lola, died after drowning in the family’s swimming pool (Link: http://hamptonroads.com/2011/07/virginia-beach-family-shares-journal-grief).
The Sandbridgearea community has rallied behind the Normiles yet again. Hundreds gathered at Kellam for a vigil (Link: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/04/report-man-fell-asleep-suffolk-crash-killed-son) the evening of the crash (Link: http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/va_beach/kellam-student-killed-in-suffolk-crash). As James was also an avid surfer, a paddle-out was held Saturday in his honor (Link: http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/friends-paddle-for-teen-killed-in-crash). A remembrance walk will be held in James’ memory May 5 at the Kellam High School track at 8 a.m.
Kellam’s girls’ soccer team paid tribute to James last Friday against Cox in its first game since the accident, as did the boys’ JV team last Thursday, who started its first match since the accident, against Tallwood, with 10 players (Link: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/04/kellam-players-emotional-field-after-emotional-week).
Fundraising efforts for the Normiles are also underway to help pay for funeral and medical expenses (Link: http://sandbridgelife.com/archives/1081).
Rush has established The Normile Family Irrevocable Trust at Towne Bank in Virginia Beach (Link: http://www.varush.com/index.php/7-front-page-slides/150-the-normile-family-trust). Cullipher Farm Market donated more than $1,600 from sales over the weekend to the Normile family. Also, this Sunday, there will be the James Normile Memorial Soccer Event at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex at 6 p.m., with donations going to the family trust (Link: http://hamptonroads.com/events/details/42743).
A Facebook page has been established in memory of James (Link: https://www.facebook.com/RestInPeaceJamesNormile).
His older sister, Gaela, also plays for Rush and for Kellam’s girls varsity team. She was also a finalist for the 2011 Inspireum Soccer Awards (Link: http://www.inspireumsoccerawards.com/soccer/nominee/469/Gaela-Normile.aspx).