A Shoreham-Wading River High School senior suffered serious injuries following a two-car crash in Shoreham Thursday evening, according to Suffolk County police.
Melissa Marchese, 18, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital following the collision on Route 25A that occurred at approximately 6:50 p.m., police said.
Ms. Marchese was a passenger in a 2007 Hyundai Elantra that was turning left onto Route 25A from Miller Avenue when it was struck by a westbound Honda Accord, police said. The driver of the Elantra, Evan Flannery, 17, and another passenger, Caroline Tyburski, 18, both of Shoreham, were transported to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson with non life-threatening injuries, police said.
The driver of the Accord, Michael Troiano, 34, of Ridge was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries, police said. The vehicles were impounded for safety checks, police said.
The crash occurred just two weeks before Shoreham-Wading River’s graduation, the latest blow for a community that has dealt with numerous tragedies in recent years, including the death of 12-year-old Andrew McMorris of Wading River. Thursday was the final day of classes for Shoreham high school students and the senior recognition night event was scheduled for 7 p.m.
Detectives are investigating whether Mr. Troiano was distracted and ran a red light. There were no signs of drugs or alcohol, police said.
Ms. Marchese was a standout softball player at Shoreham who recently finished her final season. In December, she was one of 12 SWR seniors to announce their athletic college signings. She is signed to play softball at the University of Hartford. She was also a key contributor on the Wildcats’ basketball team this past winter.
“She’s in a fight and I think if there’s a personality that could fight the situation she’s in, it’s her,” said Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball coach Adam Lievre. “She’s one of the toughest, hardest-working kids I ever coached.”
Counseling services were being offered at the school Friday.
“We’ve had way too many tragedies in this school district over the years,” Mr. Lievre said. “It seems as soon as we get over one, another one pops up. It’s tough. She has so much ahead of her.”
Friends have set up a Gofundme page to raise money to support her family. It had raised nearly $5,000 in just one hour Friday.
The school announced that it had taken the unusual step of canceling all final exams scheduled Friday.
“There will be no negative impact on any student final grades as a result,” the district said in a statement sent through its public relations firm. “Our hearts and thoughts are with the impacted students and their families.”
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call police at 631-852-8752.
Photo caption: Melissa Marchese pictured at a Shoreham-Wading River softball game this year after recording her 150th career hit. (Credit: Shoreham-Wading River School District)