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Hundreds Mourn Death of Budd Lake Teen

Family and community members pay final respects to Nicholas Michael Cianciotto III, who was ice fishing when he and his friend fell into the frigid waters of Budd Lake last week.

Hundreds mourned Saturday the death of one of the two Mount Olive teens who drowned last week while ice fishing in Budd Lake.

As a thick fog filled the air outside, family, friends and members of the community attended the funeral of Nicholas Michael Cianciotto III at St. Jude Roman Catholic Parish in Mount Olive.

Cianciotto and his friend Clyde Schimanski III were ice fishing Monday night when they fell through the icy waters. Both teens were 15 years old.

Cianciotto, a sophomore at Mount Olive High School who lived in Budd Lake for nine years, , according to his obituary. Cianciotto was buried Saturday at Christ the King Cemetery in Franklin Lakes.

Visitation hours for Schimanski, a freshman at Mount Olive who lived in Budd Lake his entire life, will be Sunday in Succasunna.

A massive rescue effort Monday night turned into a two-day search and recovery process with one teen found on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday.

The deaths of the "dirt bike buddies" stunned the Mount Olive High School community. The superintendent said the high school suffered a “tragic loss of two of its promising students.”

The community came together and raised funds to help pay for the services for the two teens.

Tracy Lazorchak January 13, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Pictures of the shrine is beautiful but must the press photograph the grieving family and friends? What kind of respect is that? Grieving shouldn't be sensationalized. It's sad enough without having photos to reflect on it. The press should be ashamed to stand there with cameras. Where do we draw the line? My heart bleeds for the family and friends of the two boys . May they rest in peace.
denise January 13, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Unfortunately the picture of the casket comes up with the story but I will absolutely not look through the rest of the pictures because I find it sickening and distasteful to photograph the boys casket and the pallbearers as well as any other part of the funeral or grieving family. Just because something is legal does not make it tasteful or morally right. Patch I think you should take the photos down out of respect for the family. Pictures of the boys things are sufficient
Roy O'Connors January 13, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Shame on the Patch for posting these pictures. You ought to be disgusted with yourselves, having the nerve to PHOTOGRAPH grieving families.
Bob January 14, 2013 at 12:32 AM
As a photojournalist myself, I assure you that photographing any funeral isn't a sign of our disrespect for the family and friends of those grieving. We have the difficult responsibility to illustrate an incredibly tragic yet newsworthy story. I understand that Nick and Clyde were not public figures, unfortunately their stories need to be told, hopefully educating and maybe even preventing another profound loss such as this. Our presence also doesn't mean we're not as equally distressed and saddened personally by having to covering these type of events, knowing full well we're not the most welcomed site at a funeral or a crime scene. Our reputations as journalists are defined by how sensitively we are able to cover news especially under such difficult circumstances. We maintain quite a distance from the families and do our best to cover the event with the utmost respect.
Tracy Lazorchak January 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Well, the photos of the funeral are not necessary to tell a story. Photos of the shrine made by friends, a photo of the lake perhaps are strong enough details. The grieving family and friends isn't necessary to photograph. Give the grievers respect and privacy. That sad day doesn't need to be sensationalized. As a reader, I don't need to see that to feel the impact of such a very sad tragedy. Bob, I understand that people like you have a job to do to tell a story, but tasteful and respectful privacy can tell it loud and clear.
Liberty January 14, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Grow up. If you don't like the pictures, don't look at them. They are part of the whole tragic story. Maybe someone else will think twice about doing something reckless and stupid when they actually see what can happen and how it could affect family and friends.
J Ant January 14, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Wow I can not believe what I am reading. I want to start off with one of the things that I keep hearing. "How stupid were these kids to be out on the ice?" Here has been my reply each time, " We were all teenagers and we all did stupid things we were fearless and nothing would ever happen to us" These two boys were being kids and thats it they were not causing any trouble with the law they were not shooting up with drugs. They were being "boys"..... With that said so for Liberty I think your comment was a little harsh and if you didn't mean it that way that is how it came out. As for the pictures the media got there story during the search and rescue that has now been completed let the friends and family grieve in peace, there was no need to plaster a very sad and emotional day all over. This was a very tragic thing that had happened to both family's and my heart goes out to them. It was a great feeling to know that a community came together with donations to help with the high cost fees of the funeral.
Paul J Przybylinski January 14, 2013 at 05:23 PM
You have the article wrong. For Nicholas Michael Cianciotto III visitation was held Friday Night at St. Jude RCC in Budd Lake not, "Visitation was held Friday in Chester." as posted above. Nick was recovered on Tuesday. The news media, local and national got everything messed up they were more concerened to be the first to get something out and not reprting the facts right.
Russ Crespolini (Editor) January 14, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Hi Paul, thanks for commenting. You are, of course, correct. The Leber Funeral Home in Chester was involved in the arrangements and in this piece, was incorrectly identified as the place for the wake. The post has been updated. Thanks for reaching out.
Paul J Przybylinski January 14, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Thank you Russ. I was involved with services at St. Jude's. I am a member of the Knights of Columbus Councile 6100 at St. Jude's and all members provide volunteer time to provide service to the church comunity and surounding comunity.
Russ Crespolini (Editor) January 14, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Hey Paul, I grew up in Mt Olive, a member of the St. Elizabeth Parish. The Knights of Columbus have always been generous. And when we make a mistake on an issue this sensitive, especially one in my home town, I am grateful for the opportunity to correct it. Thanks again.
Tracy Lazorchak January 14, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Liberty, J Ant is right. These kids were just being kids. Tragedy can happen anywhere at any time. The boys were on the ice, yes as adults we know it was stupid, but we've all felt immortal as kids. Maybe you were a perfect child or perhaps you had to "grow up" too soon. Sad for you. Even adults make stupid choices. My comment was about the funeral photos and respect for the grieving.
Liberty January 14, 2013 at 07:08 PM
So was mine.


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