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Mepham High science teacher killed in skiing accident

A science teacher at Mepham High School was killed in a skiing accident in Vermont on Saturday.

Jason Vitale, 48, of Baldwin, died from cardiac arrest after losing control on the slopes of Vermont’s Killington ski resort and hitting a tree at high speed, The Associated Press reported, citing Vermont State Police. Vitale, who had not worn a helmet, was transported to a hospital where he later died, the report said.

“The Mepham family is mourning the tragic loss of one of its teachers,” Mepham Principal Eric Gomez said in a statement Sunday. “We will continue to provide one another with support and counseling during this difficult time.”

Gomez asked the Mepham family to “join me in sending prayers and condolences to the Vitale family during this difficult time.”

Bellmore-Merrick Superintendent John DeTommaso said in a statement that Vitale had been a “well-respected” science teacher at the high school.

“He cared about kids and families and will be missed by the entire Bellmore-Merrick community,” DeTommaso said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Vitale family.”

In 2012, Newsday reported that a representative of the Big History project, an education initiative co-founded by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, visited Vitale’s earth science class as he was teaching the Big Bang Theory about the formation of the universe. The school was one of 47 in the nation selected to participate in the project, Newsday reported. 

A family member declined to comment on Sunday.

Killington released a statement on the accident Monday. "On behalf of Killington Resort, we express our sincere condolences to family and friends who have been impacted," the statement said.

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