Written by Jaime L. Tomeo Thursday, 28 May 2009 10:20
A Farmingdale State College student was killed and another injured on the campus May 26 after a garbage truck backed into them near the rear of Lupton Hall.
According to Suffolk County Police First Squad detectives, the truck driver, Guillermo Vargas said when he began backing up his garbage truck at 11:39 a.m. he heard someone screaming. Vargas, 39, of Levittown, then told police he looked out his side view mirror and saw a man he hit, Aresh Saqib, on his hands and knees, screaming, and pointing underneath the truck. Police stated Vargas got out of the truck and saw Kaeli Sarah Kramer under the truck. A physician assistant from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office pronounced Kramer, 19, of Huntington, dead at the scene. According to Kathy Coley, director of communications at Farmingdale State University, Kramer was enrolled in one summer course at the college and Tuesday was the first day of classes. Coley also confirmed that pedestrian crosswalk signs are posted near the area.
As of press time, Saqib, 21, of Farmingdale, was listed in stable condition at Nassau University Medical Center.
“His condition will be upgraded later this afternoon to satisfactory when he is moved out of the intensive care unit and moved to a medical floor,” said NUMC spokesperson Shelley Lotenberg.
A statement from President W. Hubert Keen on the school’s website, www.farmingdale.edu, reads, “The tragic death of one student and the injuries to another in a vehicular accident on campus is shocking and deeply saddening to us all. This terrible event reminds us all that it is essential to be aware of our surroundings at all times, and to exercise caution when driving within the college or walking near campus roadways.”
“This is a small campus that feels very protective of its students and to have this happen is just awful,” added Coley. “Our hearts go out to the family.”
Farmingdale State College Police assisted at the scene and during the investigation. Motor Carrier Safety examined the truck and released the truck to its owner, Jamaica Ash of Westbury. Suffolk Police are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the First Squad at 631-854-8152, as the investigation is continuing. All calls will be kept confidential.