CORTLANDT---Friends gathered Monday at the solemn scene of a fatal one-car accident that claimed the life of a well-liked, 17-year-old Walter Panas High School student Saturday night on Sprout Brook Road in Garrison, just over the Cortlandt border in Continental Village.
Rachel Myers and Rhiana Thomas De Cruz, both entering their junior years at Panas, remembered Michael Mullamphy as a fun kid who loved his car.
"He was one of my first friends when I went to Panas," Myers said as she glanced at bouquets of flowers placed near skidmarks in front of a stone wall at 421 Sprout Brook Road.
According to State Police, Mullamphy was a passenger in a two-door Pontiac GTO, driven by Matthew Falcone, who graduated from Panas June 25. The two were heading to a friend's house after Falcone picked up Mullamphy at about 11:15 p.m. when Falcone lost control of his vehicle, veered off the right side of the curvy roadway, overcorrected and slammed into a rock wall on the left side. The car overturned and landed in the middle of the road.
Mullamphy, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected from the passenger window and died instantly. Falcone, who was wearing a seat belt, was evaluated at the scene by Garrison EMS and released to his family in Cortlandt.
While there was no indication of drugs or alcohol, preliminary investigation by police revealed excessive speed above the 30 mile per hour limit was likely the cause of the crash.
Hundreds of friends and classmates expressed their condolences and sympathies for Mullamphy on Facebook and Twitter, and also displayed support for Falcone.
"Another friend that will never be forgotten. You were such an amazing friend and I will never forget you. May the angels guide you through the gates of Heaven. Rest in peace, Mike," said Samantha Weintraub, a classmate of Mullamphy.
"Rest in peace to a friend, a son, a neighbor, a classmate and a teammate. You will be missed by all and forgotten by none," said Javier Espinosa, a graduating senior.
Mullamphy, who lived less than a mile from the accident scene, was planning to resume playing football at Panas this fall and had his sights set on studying forensic science in college.
No funeral arrangements have been announced.