NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - The driver of a car that struck several hiking boy scouts, killing one, has been charged with drunken driving, authorities said.
Thomas Murphy, 59, of Holbrook, was driving a 2016 Mercedes in Manorville just before 2 p.m. Sunday when he plowed into several boy scouts and chaperones from Troop 161, according to Suffolk County police. Many of them were wearing bright red clothes.
Authorities charged Murphy with driving while intoxicated but the district attorney's office expects charges to be upgraded.
Five scouts suffered injuries. Andrew McMorris, 12, of Wading River, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
Murphy allegedly told police he was coming from a golf club where he had three drinks, according to the criminal complaint.
He pleaded not guilty in court on Monday. The judge called Murphy a "clear and present danger to the residents of New York State" and suspended his license. The judge released him on a $500,000 bond.
"We just want to extend our condolences to the families," Stephen Flynn, Murphy's attorney, said. "It's a tragedy for everyone. Beyond that, I have no comment."
Thomas Lane, 15, of Shoreham, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition, police said.
Denis Lane, 16, of Shoreham, Kaden Lynch, 15, of Calverton, and Matthew Yakaboski, 15, of Calverton, are at Peconic Bay Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
In a statement, the Suffolk County Council of Boy Scouts asked the community for prayers and emphasized creating the most secure environment possible for youth members.
McMorris was a seventh grader in the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District. School officials are offering support services to students and staff to help cope with such a tragic loss.
Detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to call the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220 TIPS.
With the Associated Press