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Long IslandSuffolk

Longwood High mourns teen killed in crash

Left: Handout photo shows Longwood High School senior

Left: Handout photo shows Longwood High School senior David Longford in the 2013 Longwood High School Yearbook. Right: The scene of the fatal car crash early Friday morning in Gordon Heights, police said. (June 7, 2013) Photo Credit: Handout / Stringer News Service

A 16-year-old boy was killed and three other teens were injured when an unlicensed driver crashed the car they were in early Friday in Gordon Heights, police said.

Three of the teens were students -- the fourth a former student -- at Longwood High School in Middle Island, where a crisis intervention team counseled grieving students and staff on the final day of classes, school officials said.

The 2002 Toyota was northbound down a hill on Gray Avenue when it overturned and struck a tree at 1:20 a.m., Suffolk County police said.

Longwood High junior David Ross, of Gordon Heights, a passenger, was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue, police said.

"Our school community mourns the loss of this fantastic young man," Longwood School District Superintendent Michael Lonergan said in a statement.

"He was quiet and sensitive," said friend and classmate Latoya Johnson, 17, of Gordon Heights. "This year he wanted to fit in, because he didn't before."

A woman who answered the door at Ross' home declined to comment.

The driver, David Longford, 17, of Medford, and an unidentified male passenger, also 17, were treated at Brookhaven for "non-life-threatening injuries," police said. Longford is a Longwood senior, school officials said.

A 15-year-old boy, whose identity also was not released, was taken to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson for treatment. His injuries were also described as non-life-threatening.

Police said Longford was issued a summons for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He had a learner's permit, police said. His family could not be reached for comment.

According to the state Department of Motor Vehicles website, individuals holding a learner's permit cannot drive "unless accompanied by a supervising driver age 21 or older who has a license valid to operate the vehicle you are driving."

The hilly street where the crash occurred is notorious for daredevil drivers, said resident Elizabeth Campbell.

"Kids try to take these hills fast," she said, noting that there have been several other accidents on the street in recent years -- none fatal until Friday.

School employees and fellow students described Ross as a good student who enjoyed school. The teen loved computers and was looking forward to his senior year and choosing a college to attend, Lonergan said in his statement.

Police ask anyone with information about the crash to call Sixth Squad detectives at 631-854-8652 orCrime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

With John Valenti

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