By Manal Rashid
On September 21, a bus carrying Farmingdale High School's marching band to Pennsylvania crashed off Interstate 84. The front tire of the bus failed, causing the bus to drive off the highway. Ultimately, the crash resulted in the deaths of two adults and dozens of students were injured. This tragedy left the Farmingdale community, as well as many neighboring communities, including New Hyde Park, feeling devastated by the crash.
“The Farmingdale incident was a tragedy,” senior Guneet Hanjra said. “I can't imagine what the community and the families of the victims are going through. My condolences are with them.”
Source by Lindsay Kim
High school students and faculty across Long Island wore green on Tuesday, September 26 in support of the Farmingdale High School community.
“As a student involved in band, I think this event is heartbreaking,” senior Rosie Zehnter said. “Last year, we got to go to New Orleans, and it was one of the best experiences. These band trips are meant to be fun and exciting, and parents shouldn't have to worry about the safety of their kids.”
The accident's aftermath has left much discussion among Farmingdale parents, and one parent decided to take legal action. Lawrence Doreson, the father of a student on the bus, filed a lawsuit against bus driver Lisa Schaffer and the bus company involved in the crash, Regency Transportation Ltd. The lawsuit accuses both parties of their “reckless and careless acts” in the horrific crash. It also alleges that the bus company didn't properly maintain, repair and inspect its vehicles. New York State Department of Transportation records show that Regency Transportation failed five out of 15 safety inspections and Lawrence Doreson believes this allowed the bus to drive in “unsafe, defective and/or hazardous conditions.” The family hopes to seek full recovery for medical expenses, including the surgery for their daughter's facial injuries and possible brain damage.
Since the accident, the entire Farmingdale community has been grieving. In hopes of uniting, they wore their school color of green on September 26th. In solidarity, several schools across Long Island also wore green, a small gesture showing support for the victims of the accident.
“I think it is very important for other schools to show support to Farmingdale as they are dealing with this devastating accident,” senior Ashley Pulinthanathu said. “I am glad that NHP joined other districts to show that the victims are in our thoughts and prayers. Just the simple act of wearing green shows our unity, which is crucial during hard times.”
“I deeply grieve with the staff and the students who cared deeply for their director,” orchestra teacher Mrs. Tomkiw said. “She was a great music director, great musician, and will be terribly missed and impossible to ever replace.”
During a challenging time, the Farmingdale community and other schools have come together to show compassion and solidarity. As legal issues continue, the victims remain in the hearts of those touched by this event.