High school baseball player from Long Island dies in upstate crash

SOUTH HUNTINGTON, Long Island (WABC) -- A high school baseball player from Long Island was killed over the weekend in a car accident just outside of Albany.

New York State Police said 17-year-old Anthony Pagano was driving southbound on I-87 when his car veered off the roadway and hit a tree around 5:20 a.m. Saturday.

Pagano was a student at St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington and played on the school's varsity baseball team.

Police said Pagano's car continued to spin southbound until it stopped and burst into flames. Pagano was pronounced dead at a local hospital after suffering from blunt force trauma to the head. Police said he was wearing a seat belt.

A male teenage passenger was not injured. He told police he and Pagano fell asleep.

St. Anthony's baseball coach John Phelan told Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne that Pagano's teammates are devastated.

"They're lost," he said. "They're lost right now. This was their teammate, their friend."

The principal of St. Anthony's, Brother Gary Cregan, said in an online message to the school community: "As Roman Catholics, we must rely on our faith to give us strength in the face of tragedy and to help us understand why a young man on the verge of adulthood would be taken from us far too soon."

Pagano's funeral will be held Friday morning in Melville.

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