Patchogue-Medford student hit by car after fire alarm
One day after two bomb threats disrupted classes at Patchogue-Medford High School, a 19-year-old student was struck by a car after a fire alarm forced an evacuation of the school, officials said.
The student struck by the car was identified by Suffolk County police only as a 19-year-old male. They said his foot was run over by a car and he was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center.
His condition - and the extent of his injuries - was not known. It was unclear if charges were pending against the driver, who was not identified.
The alarm that emptied the school was triggered by a "piece of burnt toast," according to a district spokesman.
"It was either a piece of burnt toast or possibly a muffin that set it off," Patchogue-Medford School District administrative assistant to the superintendent Frederick McKenna told Newsday. McKenna said a sprinkler system sensor sent an automatic alarm to Suffolk County fire command.
Fire officials told Newsday that call was received at 7:47 a.m. The Medford Fire Department confirmed there was no fire.
Police said the entire incident remains under investigation.
Parents and students on Tuesday expressed frustration and disappointment over the repeated bomb scares.
"I am frustrated because this is affecting my education," Richard Serrano, 18, said. Standing outside for long periods of time when the building has been evacuated "is a waste of time."
Sandra Caruso, 47, of Medford, whose son is a junior, said the recent events are especially disruptive for students as they prepare for finals.
As part of the district's heightened security measures, all lockers have been closed to students. Closing lockers allow for quicker, more efficient building searches, principal Randy Rusielewicz said Monday.
Tuesday's incident occurred a day after two bomb threats were received at the high school.
Those threats were the third since Friday - and the third and fourth in the past six weeks, according to officials.
In both of the instances Monday, the high school was evacuated and police conducted searches. Nothing was found.
With Matthew Coleman