FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Pre-season football practice took a tragic turn Thursday when a Long Island high school student died after suffering an injury during a routine drill.
It happened around 8:40 a.m. when witnesses said several players were running onto the field at Sachem East High School in Farmingville, carrying a large log over their heads as part of a conditioning drill.
Two of the players fell, causing the log, which looks like a telephone pole, to strike 16-year-old Joshua Mileto in the head, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
The eleventh-grader suffered massive injuries.
CPR was attempted on the field but the teen could not be saved.
The boy was rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Suffolk Police Assistant Commissioner Justin Meyers.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, teammates were gathered at the Farmingville Fire Department mourning a friend doing what thousands of kids do this time of year; routine off-season training.
The boys left Stony Brook Hospital after learning that doctors could not save their friend. Police said football practice was supervised by adults. Those who have been through it said the log exercise is used for team building and endurance.
Students and neighbors are stunned.
“I can’t even believe it, I don’t think it’s real,” Mileto’s friend said. “He was my best friend, we grew up together. We’ve known each other since we were two. It’s really hard for me.”
“A tragedy like that is honestly so horrible for this community,” one student said.
“I think it’s horrible, how this can happen. It’s sad. It’s really sad,” one woman said.
The school released a statement saying its crisis intervention team and support service are available, and all school activities are canceled.