Family of Long Island Boy Scout killed by alleged drunk driver speaks out

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Thursday, October 4, 2018
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The family of the Boy Scout killed by an alleged drunk driver on Long Island says the world has lost an amazing 12-year-old boy.

CALVERTON, Long Island (WABC) -- The family of the Boy Scout killed by an alleged drunk driver on Long Island says the world has lost an amazing 12-year-old boy.

"Andrew McMorris was no ordinary boy," the McMorris family, of Wading River, said in a statement. "Andrew was born with a sense of wonder and amazement of the world around him, and he never lost the ability to be awed by and delighted with all it had to offer."

The McMorris family said Andrew was an active child, interested in theater, arts, sports and the Boy Scouts, and he wanted to be an Eagle Scout. He also was passionate about flying and had started taking aviation lessons.

It happened just before 2 p.m. Sunday, when authorities the car hit the boys as they were walking on the side of David Terry Road in Manorville.

The mother of one of the boys injured in the incident spoke Wednesday with Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne.

Kristine Lynch, of Calverton, said her son, 15-year-old Kaden Lynch, called her just minutes after the accident. He suffered minor injuries.

"He said, 'Mom,' he says, 'You're never going to believe this, but we've been hit by a car,'" Kristine Lynch said.

Prosecutors are considering upgrading charges against the driver, Thomas Murphy, of Holbrook, who, according to court documents, admitted he had been drinking before he crashed into the group of 18 scouts from Troop 161, who were on a hike.

"They were walking, he looked to turn to talk to his friend and then, boom," Kristine Lynch said. "The guy was right there. There was no reaction time. They couldn't, they had no idea it was coming."

Five scouts were injured. Thomas Lane, 15, remains in serious condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Murphy is out of jail on $500,000 bail. He's due back in court October 11.

The community has been showing support for Andrew's family and Troop 161 by putting up red ribbons, which are also used by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The family is discouraging anyone from placing items at the crash site. They fear someone else may be hit on the road.

Wake services will be held for Andrew McMorris at Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Islip.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Wildcats Helping the Arts & Music in Shoreham, and Suffolk Boy Scout Troop 161.

The entire statement from the McMorris family is as follows.

Andrew McMorris was no ordinary boy.

Andrew was born with a sense of wonder and amazement of the world around him, and he never lost the ability to be awed by and delighted with all it had to offer.

Andrew was an artful child, and he channeled his abundant creativity through painting, acting, singing, and playing his piano, guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Always up for a costume, Andrew was Tin Man in his 5th grade production of The Wizard of Oz and of course Michael Jackson.

Andrew was an active kid, and was often on the rosters of community soccer and basketball teams. This year, Andrew joined his middle school cross country team and had looked forward to running with his team in his first meet this week. He loved to ski, and looked forward to long weekends and fresh powder. He loved being outdoors, especially hiking and camping trips with his friends in Troop 161.

Andrew was a dedicated community member, providing years of service through his participation with his Boy Scout Troop, Cub Scouts, and various school organizations. Serving in Boy Scouts was an honor Andrew was proud of. He dedicated to obtaining the highest honor of Eagle Scout. He participated in countless fundraisers, community clean-ups, and other projects such as tree planting and gardening.

He loved to travel, and was always up for trips, visits and excursions. Together with his family, Andrew toured parts of Hawaii and Alaska, explored Paris, France, London, England and sailed Disney cruises.

Bright and hardworking, Andrew was an Honor Roll student. Classmates, teachers and friends found him sometimes silly, always funny and, occasionally, a bit cheeky. He was a friend to everyone and showed kindness to all. Andrew was a loving son to Alisa and John, and a dedicated brother to Arianna. And to our larger SWR community of parents and children, Andrew was our 'son from another mother' and our 'other brother.'

But more than any other characteristic, what stands out about Andrew is his desire to fly and his passion for aviation.

Andrew wanted to fly before he could walk. Airplanes, helicopters and rockets were the obsession of his life, and he achieved his first piloting goal this past summer during AeroCamp. Andrew was occasionally chided by parents, coaches and teachers for "having his head in the clouds, but for Andrew, that only made sense. He wanted his whole self in the clouds, broken free of the bonds of this earth, borne up into an endless sky, with nothing but blue around him and horizon ahead, aloft and away ...

Fly high, Andrew.


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