The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

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The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Farmingdale Bus Crash Tragedy Sparks Support on Long Island

In light of the recent crash of a bus carrying students from the Farmingdale School District and the death of two beloved teachers, North High students and staff show their support and solidarity to their Long Island neighbours.

Dozens of Farmingdale students injured and two teachers dead after a bus crash in nearby Wawayanda (Credit: CNN). Last Thursday, a bus transporting Farmingdale School District staff and students crashed and fell down a ravine, leaving two adults dead and dozens injured.

Students and staff of the Farmingdale marching band traveled the Interstate 84, chaperoned by band director Gina Pellettiere and beloved marching band adviser Beatrice Ferrari, heading to a band camp in Pennsylvania. However, the trip soon went awry as the bus crashed near Wawayanda, New York, and fell into a fifty-foot-deep ravine. The crash left forty people injured, five students in critical condition, and tragically, left 43-year-old Pellettiere and 77-year-old Ferrari dead.

Dozens of Farmingdale students injured and two teachers dead after a bus crash in nearby Wawayanda (Credit: CNN).

“I can understand how much of a headache this whole thing is,” said senior Ryan Cho. “I can really sympathize with those around when it happened, such an accident really just makes everything slow down to a halt.”

After preliminary investigation into the cause of the crash, the New York State Police and National Transportation Safety Board speculate that the bus spun off course from a faulty front tire. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that further investigation will take place in the coming weeks, stressing Nassau County citizens to hold out for the official results of a full-length inspection of the situation.

Farmingdale students, staff, and alumni alike are mourning the loss of their cherished band director and teacher. Pellettiere has been the marching band director for several years now, beloved by students and leading the group to attend camps and recitals across the state. 

Ferrari, an educator at Farmingdale High School for 32 years, was widely cherished as a “grandma” to students. Her history class was across from the band room, and served as a safe space to confide in a long-standing role model of the Farmingdale school community. Ferrari was considered by students and staff alike as “the heart and soul of [Farmingdale High’s] marching band program,” and recently accepted the position as band camp chaperone.

Farmingdale band director Gina Pelletiere (at left) and long-time marching band adviser Beatrice Ferrari found dead after the bus crash last Thursday, leaving the Farmingdale community in mourning (Credit: CNN).

Schools across Long Island have gathered together to show solidarity for the Farmingdale school community in their time of mourning. Last Tuesday, North High staff and students wore green to express support for their neighbor Farmingdale community. 

“My heart goes out to those suffering because of the tragedy,” said sophomore Sophia Li. “The amount of green I saw everybody wearing on Tuesday made me proud of our school’s unity and support.”

North High wears green to show support and solidarity for the Farmingdale school community (Credit: Mike Meehan).

That same Tuesday, staff, students, and Farmingdale alumni alike congregated in the North High gymnasium to pose for a photo in the shape of a heart to symbolize their solace for the Farmingdale community. The event has been memorialized on the Great Neck Public Schools website for the Long Island community to share.

“We knew that wearing green won’t bring back lives,” said junior Ashley Liu, who participated in Tuesday’s event. “Nonetheless, the seas of green-clothed students and teachers in the halls proved that the tragic event shook us as a community, and that the victims of the crash lived in all our hearts and minds.”

Long Island schools continue to unite in mourning of this loss to the educational community, serving as a reminder of the importance of loved ones and the power of education for Great Neck North community members and beyond.

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About the Contributor
Johnathan Ahdout
Johnathan Ahdout, Managing Editor
Johnathan is one of Guide Post’s managing editors. He is the co-president of TV North and part of North High’s Science Olympiad team. He enjoys filmmaking, and spends his time SAT tutoring, or researching something he went on a tangent about during his schoolwork. He is passionate about working on any form of media, especially Guide Post.

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