EAST DURHAM, N.Y. - State Police in Catskill report that a 17-year-old high school student is dead after an early morning car accident while heading to summer school.
Erika Cook was killed when a 1989 Acura Legend driven by 18-year-old Samantha Pagan, was struck by a 1998 Mercury Mountaineer SUV while pulling into the Cairo-Durham High School around 7:50 a.m. Monday morning of August 1st, 2011. Both Cook and Pagan were attending summer school.
Police say Pagan's vehicle was heading north on Route 145, and attempted to make a left turn into the entrance of the high school. The SUV hit the passanger side door, where Cook was sitting.
Cook was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pagan was airlifted to Albany Medical Center with neck, back, and permenant damage to her right arm, and was believed to be in critical condition . The driver of the SUV, 22-year-old Michael Alesi, of East Durham, was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital by ambulance with neck and back pain.
Durham, Cairo, and Windham Ambulances responded to the scene, along with Greene County Paramedics and the Durham Fire Department.
Someone very special lost their life at the entance of this school and others have been hurt to. There are children 16 years old and older driving in and out of this school and something need to be done before someone else gets hurt. The fact that directly in front of the entrance is a passing zone alone is outrageous. Also the area being a 55 mph zone with nothing to slow the average driver down for the saftey of the community and their children, but a simple blinking light that not only doesnt suggest to use a slower speed, it is also not on at all times like it was promised after this horrible accident occured. This will also help other schools that have the same issue so please help make a difference and sign this petition. Tell your friends and family, and have them tell their friends and family to help out a good cause.