The driver responsible for the death of a Wading River Boy Scout issued an apology Thursday and said he takes responsibility for his “role” in the crash and offered sympathy to the families.
Thomas Murphy, 59, of Holtsville, had admitted to drinking on the afternoon of Sept. 30, according to a criminal complaint, when his Mercedes-Benz swerved into a group of Boy Scouts on David Terry Road in Manorville, killing 12-year-old Andrew McMorris and injuring four others.
Mr. Murphy’s attorney, Stephen McCarthy Jr. of Manhattan, read the statement outside the courtroom Thursday morning with his client by his side. Mr. McCarthy provided a copy of the statement to the News-Review.
“I, Thomas Murphy, want to offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones of Andrew McMorris. I take responsibility for my role in the tragic accident that occurred on Sept. 30, 2018, which resulted in the death of a wonderful boy, and the injury of four other boys. I also want to offer my sympathy to the families of the other injured boys: Thomas Lane, Denis Lane, Kaden Lynch and Matthew Yakaboski.
“I will cooperate fully with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office during their investigation of this tragic accident. Again, I am deeply sorry. Myself, and my family, offer our prayers to the McMorris family in this extraordinarily painful and difficult time.”
Mr. Murphy pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated at his arraignment Oct. 1. His court appearance Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip was adjourned. He is free on $500,000 bond. Upgraded charges are still expected in the case, prosecutors said.
Police took a blood sample from Mr. Murphy, after obtaining a warrant, on the afternoon of the crash. He had refused a breath test at the scene, prosecutors said. The blood sample was taken at approximately 5:42 p.m., more than three hours after the crash, according to the criminal complaint.
District attorney Timothy Sini had issued a statement after the crash saying his office will be “leaving no stone unturned” to investigate the case and present additional charges before a Suffolk County grand jury where appropriate.
Mr. Murphy is due back in court Nov. 7.