By Jeanne Sager
LIVINGSTON MANOR November 14, 2006 Just as they got back up, the Livingston Manor community was punched in the gut yet again.
Kelly Lackey, the passenger in the car crash that killed driver Adam Lasky three weeks ago, has died.
The 17-year-old was airlifted from the site of the crash that killed his best friend transported by helicopter from Dahlia Road outside Livingston Manor to Albany Medical Center.
A blog following his condition gave hope to family and friends Saturday it said Friday was an “excellent day” for Kelly.
But Sunday night, the boy the Manor community has pinned its hopes on after losing three children to tragedy in less than two years died.
Manor Superintendent Dr. Debra Lynker said the news came at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning just a half hour before her staff had to open the doors to students.
They walked in unawares, and the already distraught staff had to break the news, Lynker said.
“Everybody got hit like a ton of bricks,” she said, her voice breaking as she held back tears.
“The building is in crisis… we’re grieving, we’re all grieving.”
Lackey, a fullback on the Livingston Manor/Roscoe Devil Cats football team, was riding shotgun in Lasky’s Grand Am on the way from the BOCES Liberty campus to Livingston Manor on Oct. 27.
His was a life already full of tragedy father Tony died unexpectedly four years ago, and the family home was destroyed during the June flood.
But Lynker said she just recently told Lackey how proud she was of him for all the “growing up” he did over the summer.
He was a “good kid,” Lynker said, a child brimming with potential.
“He had a lot of promise,” she said. “That just makes this so much harder.”
Lackey’s brother, Kyle, had just made it home late last week, given leave from his deployment in Iraq by the U.S. Army.
He got home in time to see his brother one last time.
The district has already called back the crisis management team that visited the school after the accident in October.
A blood drive set for Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria will be held in memory of both Lasky and Lackey, and Lynker said the school is discussing the formation of scholarship funds in memory of the boys.
Phil Vallone, owner of the Rolling V Bus Corporation, has already approached Lynker with plans to conduct an Alive at 25 driving course for young drivers.
Lynker said Vallone will be covering the cost of the course for every student in the district old enough to get behind the wheel.
Walking outside this afternoon, looking for a moment of peace on an especially awful day, Lynker said she watched cars race by her through Livingston Manor.
“I was thinking ‘slow down, just slow down.’”