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Bus crash killed band director, retired teacher. Here’s how Farmingdale is remembering them



What to Know

  • The investigation is continuing into Thursday’s deadly rollover crash of a Farmingdale school band’s charter bus.
  • Federal investigators from the NTSB arrived on the scene Friday morning to examine the wreckage and are expected to hold a news conference Friday afternoon.
  • Gina Pellettiere, 43, of Massapequa, and Beatrice Ferrari, 77, of Farmingdale, were identified as the victims killed in the crash. Pellettiere, a music teacher at the high school, was in charge of the student band, and Ferrari, was a retired teacher.

A memorial has been growing by the minute for the two devoted educators killed in Thursday’s rollover bus crash in Orange County.

Gina Pellettiere and Beatrice Ferrari were two of the chaperones on board the bus carrying mostly freshmen students from Farmingdale High School to northern Pennsylvania, where the school’s band attends the annual camp. Five students remained in critical condition at hospitals on Friday.

The school was open Friday with counselors available to grieving students and staff members.

Junior Mia Hayes dropped off flowers at the memorial constructed at the high school.

“They were amazing people. [Pellettiere] was a huge light for the school, and I just feel such a tremendous loss for all of us,” Hayes said Friday.

A candle memorial set up in front of Farmingdale High School on Sept. 22, 2023. The memorial is to honor students after a fatal bus crash in Wawayanda, N.Y. on Sept. 21, 2023. (Emma Seiwell/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Pellettiere, 43, taught music for close to two decades and served as the band director. Those close to her say the annual trip to band camp was always a highlight for Pellettiere. She leaves behind a 2-year-old son.


“I think of that little boy who is not going to see his mommy again and that kills me,” said Rose Walker, a legislator in the county.

Ferrari, 77, had taught in the Farmingdale school district for more than 30 years before retiring. Her students affectionately called her “Grandma Bea.”

Cordelia Anthony, a science teacher at the high school, said Ferrari was a “wonderful history teacher” and had chaperoned the band for years.

Flags will fly at half-staff in Nassau County beginning Saturday evening in memory of Pellettiere and Ferrari, according to County Executive Bruce Blakeman.

The buses were taking the marching band, color guard and dancers from Farmingdale High on an annual trip a band camp in Greeley, in northeastern Pennsylvania.

NTSB investigator John Humm provided an update Friday afternoon on a charter bus crash that killed two teachers near Wawayanda, New York.


Source: NBC New York

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