Suffolk Police reported that 16-year-old Joshua Mileto, who was going into 11th grade, was practicing with his football team at Sachem on August 10, 2017, when a large log fell and hit his head.
The Farmingville Fire Department took Mileto, who played wide receiver and defensive back, to the local hospital, where he was declared dead.
The disaster happened before fall season practice as part of the football camp’s conditioning drill. The log was over 12 feet long and weighed approximately 400 pounds. It was used as a weight for the team, requiring up to six players to lift it together and was designed to build teamwork for Navy SEALS training.
In a statement, Kenneth Graham, the Superintendent of Sachem High School East, said that the community was overcome and felt a great deal of grief.
The Sachem East Touchdown Club set up a fundraiser for Mileto’s family, and has raised over $69,000 to date.
Attorney Neal Goldstein noted, “While it is currently unclear exactly what happened, this tragedy should be thoroughly investigated. Questions here include why students are carrying around 400-pound logs when there is a possibility that things could go horribly wrong. Player safety should be paramount.”