Update: Lenox grad killed by alleged drunk driver near NY college
GREENFIELD, N.Y. — A former honor student and standout athlete at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, Michael Hedges, 19, of Lenox, was killed Saturday night when he was struck by an allegedly drunk driver in upstate New York, where he attended Skidmore College.
"It's a tough day," Lenox School Superintendent Timothy Lee said. "Mike was very popular among the students. Lenox is a small community. Many of the younger students looked up to him."
There will be grief counsellors at the high school and middle school for students who might need them, said Lee. On Monday, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the high school cafeteria, friends, family and students are invited to a session to share memories of Hedges, said Lee.
Hedges made high honors throughout his Lenox High School career.
He won several scholarships at the school's graduation exercises last June. He was also an outstanding soccer, basketball and track athlete for the school.
The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office said Hedges, Oban Galbraith, 18 of Shelburne, Vt., and Toby Freeman, 19, of New York City, were hit on Clinton Street in the town of Greenfield.
Hedges was pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center at 5:43 a.m. Sunday, the Sheriff's Office said. Galbraith and Freeman are listed in critical condition. Two of the students were airlifted to Albany Medical Center and one was being treated at Saratoga Hospital.
Thomas H. Gorman, 64, of Birch Meadow Estates in Saratoga Springs is facing three-counts of first-degree vehicular assault, a felony, and driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, after he was allegedly driving while intoxicated and struck the three students near the college campus, police said.
Gorman was arraigned in Greenfield town court and remanded to Saratoga County Jail on $50,000 cash/ $100,000 bond bail.
The investigation is ongoing, police said, and more charges are expected.
At the scene of the crash Sunday afternoon, debris remained from investigators including water bottles, rubber gloves and other items. Lt. Jeffrey Brown with the Sheriff's department said the students were likely walking from Bloomfield Road.
Saratoga Springs Police, New York State Police, Skidmore College Public Safety and the Saratoga Springs, Greenfield and Porters Corners Fire Departments all assisted at the scene.
In a statement, Gail Cummings-Danson, the Interim Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs at Skidmore said the college is continuing to cooperate with local law enforcement. Members of Skidmore's Counseling Center staff were available to students Sunday afternoon.
Skidmore College President Philip Glotzbach said the campus will hold a community gathering in remembrance at 8 p.m. Monday. In addition to the counseling sessions that were offered on Sunday, students can reach the center at 518-580-5555.
Glotzbach said the three students were in their first year at Skidmore College.
"I write with a heavy heart to share with you the news that no college president ever wants to share with a campus community. All of the families have been at the hospital with their children since early this [Sunday] morning. Marie and I will see them today and we will assure them that Skidmore will do everything we can for them," he said. "I know I speak for the entire Skidmore community when I say that we are mourning with Michael's family and praying for the speedy recovery of Toby and Oban. We will keep you informed of their progress when we have more news."
"This is a very sad time for every member of our campus community," he wrote.
Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.
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