Tragedy struck a Long Island high school just weeks before the new school year when a football player was killed by a log during a team-building exercise on Thursday.
Junior Joshua Mileto and four other players were holding a 10-foot-log above their heads during an off-season session at Sachem High School East in Farmingville when it fell and struck the 16-year-old in the head, Suffolk County police said according to the New York Daily News.
Mileto was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he later died. After speaking with more than a dozen coaches and trainers at the scene, police ruled the incident was an accident.
While many are questioning whether the log exercise is appropriate for teen athletes, a Sachem East spokesperson told the Daily News that the high school has “commonly” used logs in such sessions.
According to its website, Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Graham said the Sachem Central School District is providing support services to students and staff at the East and North high schools on Friday. All weekend school and community-based activities have been canceled.
The Sachem East Touchdown Club created a memorial GoFundMe page for Mileto. Within the first 15 hours, the page raised nearly $29,000 of its $15,000 goal from 596 people.