A 16-year-old football player died after a log being used in a practice drill at his Long Island high school fell on his head Thursday morning, Suffolk County cops said.
Joshua Mileto — an 11th-grader at Sachem High School East in Farmingville — was slammed in the head by the log during an off season strength and conditioning drill about 8:40 a.m.
“This morning Brandon witnessed something that is going to stay with him forever,” wrote Jamie Leigh on Facebook. “It breaks my heart to see the pain and fear in his eyes knowing this could have been him.
The Farmingville Fire Department rushed Mileto to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he died, officials said.
Suffolk police said a group of players were carrying to log overhead when it fell.
“The Sachem Central School District Administration, Board of Education and entire school community are truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of an 11th-grade Sachem High School East student,” said Dr. Kenneth Graham, superintendent of Schools for the district, in a written statement.
“The student passed away from injuries suffered during an off-season football workout early this morning.”
Formal practice was slated to start on Aug. 14, according to the school’s website.
In her Facebook post, Leigh added that football is supposed to be fun and educational, something to strive to become better at.
“Not something that could scar you for the rest of your life,” she wrote. “I can’t imagine how the parents feel. I don’t even want to try to imagine if it was him. My heart goes out to the parents and siblings of this young man. I am so sorry for your loss.”
Graham said the school community is grieving over the “horrific accident.”
“We extend our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends during this terribly difficult time,” he said.
Anita Raum’s son also witnessed the tragedy, she said in a brief phone conversation.
“This is beyond the WORST thing that could happen to our Football family and community,” she wrote on Facebook. “Please keep this family in your prayers and all of his football brothers and coaches that are suffering so deeply. Our Sachem Community is hurting over this tragic loss.”
A counseling team will be made available to students and staff, Graham said. All athletic and school-related activities were cancelled for Thursday at every school in the district.
The case is being investigated by the Suffolk Homicide Squad. Detectives asked anyone with information to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392, Suffolk police said.