By Jeanne Sager
LIVINGSTON MANOR March 4, 2005 A teenage desire to celebrate the snowstorm that would cancel schools across Sullivan County Tuesday led to tragedy.
Trevor Simpson and Jason Bowers, both 17-year-olds from Livingston Manor, were enjoying the noreaster that blew into Sullivan County late Monday with a ride on their snowmobiles.
But when the boys hit Shandelee Lake, near Temple Road in the Manor, their vehicles collided head-on, ejecting both from their snowmobiles.
Neither teen was wearing a helmet or any other protective gear, according to police, and Simpson sustained life-threatening injuries. The senior at the nearby Livingston Manor Central School, son of board of education member Edna Simpson, was pronounced dead at the scene by Sullivan County Coroner Michael Speer.
Bowers, a member of the junior class at Livingston Manor, was taken by ambulance to Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris for shoulder injuries. Hes since been transferred to Westchester Medical Center, where he was still a patient as of yesterday.
The small school district, where everyone knows everyone else, is reeling in the aftermath of tragedy with school canceled Tuesday because of the storm, Superintendent Debra Lynker began calling upon counselors to come in Wednesday to talk with the kids.
With some other districts still closed, eight responded to help.
They were wonderful, she said. They did anything walked the halls, talked with the kids.
The school also called upon their own in-house crisis management team and the countys CSIM team to help students deal with their grief.
The kids are doing very well, Lynker said all things considered.
The district canceled last nights board of education meeting which was scheduled during the hours of Simpsons wake.
Lynker said Simpson is being remembered as a great kid with a contagious smile and a quick wit.
The varsity baseball player who made National Honor Society grades was a nice person to be around, she added.
State Police are still investigating the accident, and no tickets have been issued. Whether speed was a factor in the fatal crash is part of that investigation, said Investigator Thomas Gibbons, but he could not comment on other mitigating factors.